Bereaved father slams Israeli treatment of terror victims at Memorial Day ceremony (HA´ARETZ NEWS) By Haaretz 04/26/12)
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Israeli government faced severe and unprecedented criticism on
Wednesday at the annual memorial ceremony for fallen soldiers and
victims of terrorist attacks, when bereaved father Yossi Mendelevitz
criticized the Gilad Shalit prisoner swap deal as a victory for Hamas.
At the ceremony that took place at Mount Herzl in Jerusalem, Terror
Victims Association Chairman Mendelevitz, who lost his son in a
terrorist act in Haifa in 2003, told the gathered crowd that "Hamas
"We see the murderers on television shows, those responsible for the
worst terrorist acts against Israel are free."
Concerning the prisoner swap deal, in which Israel agreed to release
some 1,0000 Palestinians prisoners in exchange for the captive IDF
soldier Gilad Shalit, Mendelevitz asked "at the end of the day the
swap deal was accepted, but at what price?"
Cpl. Gilad Shalit was kidnapped by Hamas to Gaza on the 25th of June
2006 and was held in captivity for over 5 years. Israel agreed to
release 1,000 Palestinian prisoners in return for Shalit, 450 of them
were convicted terrorists, 280 of which served life sentences. Most
of the Israeli public supported the exchange.
Addressing Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who was sitting in the
audience, Mendelevitz asked, "What is the security plan regarding the
release of terrorists? We demand to know how the government intends
At the end of his speech the audience applauded Mendelevitz, even
though this is not customary at memorial events.
"It is true that once a year we remember the terror victims, but on
the remaining 364 days we forget and neglect them. The apparent
hierarchy between the fallen soldiers and civilian terrorist act
victims is maintained," Mendelvitz added.
Netanyahu, who spoke earlier, said that "the terrorists´ horrific
actions against us don´t know moral boundaries. The cruelty of the
terrorists cannot be satisfied. They have one thing in common: they
want to murder Jews, they want to uproot our people and land. They
will not succeed. We will stay in Jerusalem – the united city of the
Netanyahu added that the bereaved families share his determination.
Addressing the families in the audience, Netanyahu said: "I saw it in
the families of the Toulouse murders and in each and every one of
you. They murder and we build."
The Memorial Day for the 22,993 fallen soldiers and victims of
terrorist acts was commemorated Wednesday with a two minute
nationwide siren sound at 11 A.M. and memorial services that were
held all over the country. (© Copyright 2012 Ha´aretz 04/26/12)
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