Bereaved families break up Finance Committee meeting

Bereaved families and hunger strike leaders break up Finance Committee meeting: 'We don't want to wait for next disaster.'

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Hezki Baruch - Mordechai Sones,

Bereaved families in Knesset
Bereaved families in Knesset
Hezki Baruch

The bereaved families and heads of local authorities in Judea and Samaria who are on a hunger strike and demanding budget for enhanced security and bypass roads throughout Judea and Samaria, arrived at the Knesset Finance Committee meeting and broke it up.

After the families arrived at the meeting, MK Mickey Zohar (Likud), coalition coordinator for the Finance Committee, and MK Bezalel Smotrich, a member of the committee, announced that all other budgetary transfers had been halted.

MK Bezalel Smotrich said, "This is human life and not a game. As long as the security budgets [we demand] are stuck for the half-million residents of Judea and Samaria, no budget can pass."

MK Zohar told the committee: "The bereaved families who lost their loved ones on the roads of Judea and Samaria are sitting next to you. The Prime Minister promised budgets. I declare here that no budget will pass until residents of Judea and Samaria receive the most basic security components."

"We are Likud members of Knesset and we will not give up until the budgets for settlement arrive," he added.

Hadas Mizrachi, widow of Superintendent Baruch Mizrahi, told MKs: "He was murdered on Route 35, a road that has no lighting, no cellular network, and no bypass road. We stood on the road for 25 minutes for someone to come and help us. The ambulances took so long. They probably could have saved Baruch, but he is not alive. Today, three-and-a-half years later, I've had it with promises. I come to funerals, go to the shiva (seven-day mourning period), and hear the same thing. I very much hope that the funds will pass because they're essential. It's life-saving. I left five children at home to continue to come here."

Adva Biton, Adele Biton's mother, said, "We can't let this fail. We are not second class citizens. We drive in our cars and we deserve proper roads, transportation, roadside lighting, cellular communications. It is inconceivable that there are very horrible incidents happening in our country every day, and a number of Knesset members come to our houses, participate in our sorrow, identify with us, and make us promises. We want to see action; we want to travel and return safely to our homes." Little Adele was in a car hit by a barrage of rocks, causing it to swerve and crash into a truck. She was brain-damaged but held on to life for two years, dying at the age of four.

Yitzhak Abutbul, whose wife was murdered on the way to Mevo Dotan, told the Knesset members, "A week before the attack that killed my wife there was another terrorist attack at the same place and no-one mentioned it. A year-and-a-half later, Busherian was murdered in the same place, in the same fashion. We do not want to traverse Huwara for 45 minutes while everyone is throwing stones at us and shooting at us. I just want you to understand and pass this budget."

Ruti Hasano, the wife of Avraham Hasano Hy"d noted, "From Avraham Square to Beit Haggai six people were murdered one by one. We are here to prevent the next attack. We ask for action and that you release the money that must be given to the council heads." Hasano was killed by a truck when he stepped out of his car to inspect the damage after he was pelted by rocks.

Hadas Mizrahi added, "The bereaved families can no longer look the orphans and widows in the eyes. We're sick of it."

The head of the Samaria Regional Council, Yossi Dagan, told the Knesset members: "In these hands I held the Henkin children after their parents were murdered on the road where there is still no lighting and no cell phone reception. We don't want to evacuate bodies like the Fogel family in Itamar, where for years now there have been no security components."

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu announced that they will immediately begin work on building the roads that the hunger strikers demand: "No one sitting at this table doesn't share your pain. I remember what happened to you, Baruch Mizrachi, to little Adele."

"These are our brothers and children. We must take care of this. It must involve a comprehensive decision.

"We feel your pain, we will do what we can to ensure there will be no more pain, to protect our roads and our citizens.

"You are always invited to come here and express your thoughts. I hope you'll see changes quickly," said the Prime Minister.

Update: Strike leaders have said that the hunger strike will continue until the security budget is approved.


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