Protest Tent Against Terrorist Releases Won't be Shut Down
The Jerusalem Municipality has allowed the protest tent outside the Prime Minister's Residence to remain open, it was revealed Sunday afternoon, as long as the bereaved families involved organize the protests ahead of the fourth batch of terrorist releases.
Bereaved families have continued to protest over Israel's release of 104 Palestinian Arab terrorists, 78 of which so far have been released. The protest tent outside the Prime Minister's House, in particular, has received a slew of publicity over the past several months, as leading politicians and representatives for terror victims have used the site as a rallying point against the widely unpopular precondition to peace talks.
The municipality has threatened to shutter the protest tent in the past, causing a media uproar. But this time - amid a general public outcry against the fourth batch of releases and a chance that the release will be canceled - the municipality made clear to Arutz Sheva that there are no plans to oust bereaved families from the site. Rather, a municipality representative said, the permit for the tent to stay outside the residence is simply due to be extended.
"We are helping families in their struggle for justice," Meir Indor, the head of the Almagor association for bereaved families, stated Sunday. "We hope that the city will show generosity, as it did when the [Gilad] Shalit tent stood for over two years outside the residence."
The fourth batch of terrorist releases has sparked considerable controversy, as MKs point out that the previous releases have done nothing to further talks, and that several of the released terrorists have contributed to the increase in terror attacks over the past year.
Palestinian Authority chief negotiator Saeb Erekat stated earlier this month that Chairman Mahmoud Abbas was staying in talks solely for the sake of the terrorist releases, prompting Israeli officials to reconsider completing the deal - which has always been contingent on real progress in the talks.
Over the weekend, Israel told PA officials that the deal was postponed, after Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said the release would "topple the government" due to public and political backlash.