Court: Protest Outside Terrorist's House Can Proceed
Protesters can demonstrate outside the home of Ahmed Khalaf, who is set to be released Monday night as a “gesture” to the Palestinian Authority, the High Court said Monday. He is one of 26 terrorists to be released in the third round of terrorists releases Israel promised to undertake last summer, as the price for the return of the PA to the negotiating table.
Activists planned the protest for Monday night, but the police refused to supply them with a permit. Khalaf is an Arab resident of Jerusalem who holds Israeli citizenship, who was arrested in 1992 for his role in attempting to carry out a terror attack with two other terrorists. His family lives in the Old City of Jerusalem. Protesters had planned to meet at the protest tent outside the Prime Minister's Office in Jerusalem and from there march to the American Consulate, where they would then proceed to the home of Khalaf.
Citing unnamed “security concerns,” police barred the protesters – and in response, activist groups, including the Yisrael Sheli organization and the Almagor terror victims' group appealed to the High Court, demanding that the court order police to authorize the protest.
Police told the Court that they did not wish to issue the permit because of concerns that fights and confrontations could break out between protesters and Arab residents. However, the Court decided, police fears of confrontation was not a sufficient reason to deny the group its right of protest. However, the Court limited the group that could protest directly outside the terrorist's house to 15 members of families whose loved ones were killed in terror attacks organized by Khalaf.
Khalaf, along with 25 other terrorists, is set to be released late Monday. Activists in the area of the Old City said that his family has already festively decorated their street to celebrate his release. Khalaf has been in prison since 1992 on charges of conspiring and carrying out a terror attack.