Court Appeal to Break Gag Order

Victims of terror have appealed to the High Court to order the government to publish the list terrorists it wants to free in return for Shalit.

Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu, | updated: 10:08

Terrorists after previous release
Terrorists after previous release
Israel news photo: Flash 90

The Almagor terror victims association, on behalf of three parents whose children were killed by terrorists, appealed to the High Court Tuesday morning to order the government to publish the list terrorists it has approved for release in exchange for kidnapped soldier Gilad Shalit. Tuesday’s appeal was filed on behalf of Yossi Tzur, Yossi Mendelovich and Ron Kerman, whose children were killed in an Arab attack on a bus in Haifa.

They warned that the "lack of knowledge and lack of time” are impeding their ability to challenge the government’s plans on the basis of endangering public safety. Previous releases have resulted in terrorists returning to violence and killing more than 180 Israelis.

The military censor has imposed a gag order on all information concerning the rumored deal that would free up to 1,400 prisoners and terrorists, including those guilty of being involved in lethal attacks, in return for Shalit. Since he was kidnapped more than three years ago, Hamas has refused to honor the Geneva Convention that requires allowing Red Cross officials to communicate with kidnap victims.

Attorneys for Almagor argued that the gag order is based on political and not security reasons in order to help secure approval of the proposal to bring Shalit back home. Although he is thought to be physically well, his emotional condition is unknown.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu is trying to garner cabinet support to free the terrorists, and most observers think he has a majority of the 30 ministers. Only four – Moshe Yaalon Yuval Steinitz, Benny Begin, all of the Likud, and Yisrael Beiteinu’s Uzi Landau - have already stated they oppose freeing terrorists.

Likud ministers Yaakov Neeman, Yossi Peled, Dan Meridor, Yuli Edelstein, Gilad Erdan, Yisrael Katz, along with four Shas ministers and five from Labor, are expected to support the proposal. In the undecided column are Silvan Shalom, Limor Livnat, Moshe Kahlon, Michael Eitan and Gideon Saar of Likud.

Other undecided ministers are four from Yisrael Beiteinu and Jewish Home chairman Rabbi Dr. Daniel Hershkowitz.