Dozens of people demonstrated on Sunday evening outside the home of President Shimon Peres, demanding the release of Jewish prisoners. The protesters shouted, “We want to light the Chanukah candles with our loved ones.”
One of the protesters was Tova Aharonov, girlfriend of Dennis Alhazov who was convicted in 2009 of killing an Arab in revenge for the 2002 killing by terrorists of the IDF’s Hevron Brigade Commander Col. Dror Weinberg and eleven other Jews.
Aharanov told Arutz Sheva that she is asking Peres to pardon her boyfriend so they can get married and establish a home in Israel.
“I want to have a Chanukah miracle; I want my boyfriend home,” she said. “Dennis went to defend the country and the state turned on him. He is innocent.”
“I want to marry him and raise a family in Israel,” she added. “It cannot be that 1,000 terrorists with blood on their hands are freed, and a soldier who went to defend his country remains behind bars. How can a person who signed the pardon of human animals not release the 11 of his brothers?”
Since Israel signed a deal with Hamas to release 1,027 terrorists in exchange for abducted Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit, there have been calls for the government to release Jewish prisoners who are being held in prison for killing Arabs. Several protests to that effect have taken place outside the home of Justice Minister Yaakov Neeman in recent weeks.
Last week, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu was confronted in the Knesset by Elinor Butbika, wife of Shahar Butbika who was sentenced to eight years in prison for killing a Palestinian Authority Arab in Hevron in 2002 while, his family says, he was under emotional strain after his fellow soldiers had been killed.
Butbika was in the Knesset and was in the midst of giving an interview to Arutz Sheva when she spotted the Prime Minister and his entourage leaving his office. Butbika hurried toward Netanyahu, came right up to him and called out: “Mr. Prime Minister, you released terrorists. I also want my husband home.”
In light of the release of terrorists in exchange for Shalit, the Honenu legal aid organization has been working to get 11 Jewish security prisoners released.