High Court Won't Give Time of Day to Appeal Against Kuntar Deal

"The High Court spat in the faces of the bereaved families and on the graves of our loved ones," a brother of one of Samir Kuntar's victims said.

Gil Ronen,

The High Court of Justice on Tuesday refused to hear a petition filed by the family of slain policeman Eliyahu Shachar against the deal between Israel and Hizbullah. 

The exchange involves the release of Samir Kuntar, who killed Shachar and brutally executed another man, Danny Haran, and his 4-year-old daughter Einat in 1979. The petition was filed by the Almagor Terror Victims Association and Yoram and Simcha Shachar, Eliyahu's brother and sister.

"The High Court spat in the faces of the bereaved families who lost their loved ones in Samir Kuntar's terror attack and spat on the graves of our loved ones," Yoram Shachar said after the court's decision. "We are very disappointed, insulted and hurt by the discriminatory treatment given to our pain compared to the pain of others. It can't be that they wouldn't even listen to us."

He was alluding to the family of Gilad Shalit, whose appeal was heard in a long session of the High Court two weeks ago. In that hearing, the High Court similarly determined that it would not intervene in government decisions of this nature, but added that a ministerial committee should convene to re-consider the Shalit case.

'Cabinet is Sole Authority'
"We are very disappointed, insulted and hurt by the discriminatory treatment given to our pain compared to the pain of others."

Supreme Court Deputy President Judge Eliezer Rivlin said that Kuntar's release was approved after proper consideration by the cabinet and that the court preferred not to intervene in such cases. "The decision was made at the cabinet's discretion in dealings connected to Israel's foreign policy and defense. In instances like this, the court plays a very restrained role," he wrote.

Rivlin determined that the cabinet was the sole authority in decisions such as the signing of a deal with Hizbullah and the release of Arab terrorists. "Considerations need to be made in the framework of [wider] government decisions and are outside of the legal establishment's jurisdiction. [The government] has the authority, the information and the capability" to make such decisions, he explained.

'Abuse of Terror Victims'
Almagor slammed the court's decision as "abuse of terror victims, who come to demand that their brother's cries from the grave for justice are heeded."

Simcha Shachar said before the court session that Kuntar "is an arch-murderer to whom we cannot give
"I cannot bear to see the person who turned me into an orphan at age three return a free man to his family and mother."
a prize by releasing him, even after 30 years. Let them give back bodies for bodies and not set free a murderer like Kuntar."

Keren Shachar, who was three when her father was murdered, said: "If one of the soldiers was definitely alive we would agree, but as long as the formal elements say that both soldiers are not alive then let them return bodies for bodies. I cannot bear to see the person who turned me into an orphan at age three return a free man to his family and mother."

Almagor chairman Meir Indor said: "By agreeing to the deal, the government  surrendered not to the pressure of the abducted soldiers' families - but to the pressure of the terror organizations, which manipulated the families' distress by not giving them any information about their relatives and not allowing any visits by the Red Cross. This is how terror works: it plants seeds of deep fear inside the hearts of our people and causes them to make irrational choices and serve the terror organizations' interests."





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