“The Justice Ministry Is Harming Terror Victims”
Bereaved father of teen murdered by Shalit deal terrorists says ministry refusing to give info on released terrorists.
Israel National News
Yossi Tzur, bereaved father of 17-year-old terror victim Assaf HYD, slammed the Justice Ministry for refusing to share a list of which of the 1,027 terrorists released in the 2011 Gilad Shalit deal have returned to terror.
The topic is particularly pertinent to Yossi, as the terrorists who planned the suicide bombing on a Haifa bus on March 5, 2003 that killed his son Assaf along with 16 other Israelis was freed in the Shalit deal.
Speaking to Arutz Sheva, the bereaved father and member of the Almagor terror victim organization’s bereaved parents’ forum said that Almagor intends to hold its third memorial of the Shalit deal next week.
“This day for all of us turned into a day of self-examination, an evening of memory and drawing conclusions from the awful deal,” said Tzur. “We asked the Justice Ministry for orderly information, and to our surprise for over a month they are refusing to give it to us, claiming the request was transferred to the freedom of information committee.”
As victims of terrorists who were released, Tzur argued the ministry under the leadership of Justice Minister Tzipi Livni (Hatnua) should not treat those making the request as private individuals, but as representatives of the Israeli public.
“The Justice Ministry needs to show sensitivity, this angers us; we aren’t regular citizens but rather the victims of crime. For most of the families the day of the release has turned into an awful day—the experience of the terror attack returns to us,” Tzur explained.
Detailing his personal feelings ahead of the memorial of the release, Tzur noted “in my case the three terrorists who were sentenced for the murder of my son were released; don’t I deserve to see this information?”
In response to an inquiry, the Justice Ministry noted its close contact with Almagor before claiming it had not refused the group’s request for information. It confirmed that the office of the director general of the ministry had received the request and passed it to the freedom of information department to deal with the issue in accordance with the law.
The Ministry added that the request includes access to information on a vast number of released prisoners, while promising to handle the request with understanding and sensitivity.
Numerous terrorists released in the Shalit deal have already returned to terror, most notably Ziyad Awad, who murdered police Chief Superintendent Col. Baruch Mizrahi HYD in April while aided by his 18-year-old son Az a-Din.
Yet another terrorist released in the deal was arrested in August after trying to smuggle drugs from Jordan.
There are around 63 terrorists freed in the deal who have been re-arrested; according to reports the terror group Hamas may be on the verge of sealing a terrorist swap deal to have them and hundreds of other jailed terrorists released in exchanged for fallen IDF soldiers Hadar Goldin and Oron Shaul HYD, as part of the Cairo truce talks.