Dozens of members of families who had lost loved ones to terrorists marched in Netanya, north of Tel Aviv, Monday night, demanding that the government hold off on releasing terrorists as it has committed to do in the coming days.
The protesters march through town, starting out at a shopping center at the entrance to the city, and ending up at the Park Hotel, where 32 Israelis were murdered in a terror attack on Passover night as they were celebrating the Passover Seder 12 years ago.
Israel agreed to release about 100 terrorists last summer, as a “concession” to persuade Palestinian Authority chief Mahmoud Abbas to resume peace talks after a three year hiatus. The last batch is set to be released at the end of March, but Netanyahu is under pressure from his ministers to cancel that release.
“We came out to the streets to make noise and bring attention to what is going on, so the government will understand that it should not release terrorist murderers,” said one protester.
Last week, Deputy Defense Minister Danny Danon's declared that he would resign his post if the government went ahead with yet another round of releasing terrorists. The only reason talks with the Palestinian Authority were still going on, Danon said, was so that PA chief Mahmoud Abbas could secure the release of another group of terrorists, one of the “gestures” Israel made last year to encourage Abbas to restart the talks after a three year hiatus. “I will not sit in a government that releases terrorists in exchange for Tzipi Livni's fantasies,” Danon said Wednesday. “There is a limit to how much we can pay like suckers, in return for the smiles of (Tzipi) Livni and (Chief PA negotiator Saeb) Erekat.”