Daily Israel Report

Terror Victim´s Mother: How Will We Resist The Pressure Next Time?!

The Terror Victims Association is not happy with the small-scale publication of names, and sued - unsuccessfully - not only for more advance notice, but also for the release of more details.
First Publish: 8/4/2003, 10:21 AM

The Terror Victims Association is not happy with the small-scale publication of names, and sued - unsuccessfully - not only for more advance notice, but also for the release of more details. The suit was heard this afternoon in the Supreme Court, less than two hours after the names were publicized.

Atty. Ze'ev Dasberg, representing the TVA, told Arutz-7's Yosef Zalmanson that 48 hours "is simply not enough time for citizens who were wounded - or whose loved ones were murdered - in a terror attack to learn that 'their' terrorist is being released and to sue in court."

The TVA also sued over the sparse amount of details released by the government. These include only the terrorist's name, the court in which he was convicted, the clause on which he was convicted, and the date of his previously scheduled release. Atty. Dasberg says that this does not satisfy the requirements of the law guaranteeing the rights of the victim of a crime:
"Let's say someone was seriously handicapped as a result of a terrorist bombing. If the publicized list states that so-and-so was convicted of 'membership in a terrorist organization,' but does not specify that he had driven the terrorist to the site of his crime in a specific place on a specific date, how are the victims supposed to know that the reference is to 'their' attack? We demand that the names of the victims be publicized, as well as the circumstances of the attack."

Yehudit Dasberg, whose life was totally changed as a result of a terror attack seven years ago, agrees. In June 1996, her daughter and son-in-law Efrat and Yaron Ungar were murdered by terrorists in a drive-by shooting, and Yehudit and her husband have been raising her two orphaned grandchildren - now 8 and 9 years old - ever since. Mrs. Dasberg met the Prime Minister in the Knesset corridors today, and asked, "Why are you releasing so many terrorists, that so many IDF soldiers and GSS agents worked so hard to apprehend?" Mr. Sharon responded that the decision was the "correct" one, and that the government had resolved not to release terrorists with blood on their hands. Mrs. Dasberg then said to him, "The ones you're letting go tried to murder - but missed."

Mrs. Dasberg said that more information must be publicized in order to "increase the chances that the victim will know who is being released. A person might not recognize the name of the terrorist - but if the victim's own name is mentioned, then friends who hear will inform him, etc. It's also important to say the circumstances of the attack - such as 'roadside shooting near N'vei Tzuf' or 'the Kiryat Menachem bus bombing' and the like. This makes it easier to identify. It will even help the government ministers who have to approve the releases; after all, they don't know all the details of every single attack."

The Court rejected the suit, accepting the State's claim that the list of prisoners includes no terrorists who actually hurt anyone. "There were no victims," the Court ruled. Zalmanson asked, "Is this not an encouraging sign that in the future, your demand for more information will have to be met regarding terrorists who *did* wound someone?" Mrs. Dasberg responded forcefully:

"Why should we wait for the worst? We know it's coming! Let's put up a barrier. The pressure will be even worse the next time. The government doesn't want to release murderers, but why are they giving in now? Because they feel they can't withstand the pressure. So do they think that they will be able to stand up to it later, when it will be even harder?!"

In addition, the State claimed that details about the prisoners can be obtained at a telephone center run by the Justice Ministry, the phone numbers of which are available on the website (in Hebrew, www.ips.gov.il).