Protesters Converge on Prime Minister's House

Protesters stage noisy demonstration against prisoner release outside Prime Minister's residence after midnight, try to break past security.

Yoni Kempinski, Tova Dvorin ,

Immigrants' protest, December 2013
Immigrants' protest, December 2013

As the release of a "third batch" of 26 jailed terrorists - most of them convicted murderers - are set to go free today, a group of angry protesters staged an impromptu protest outside the Prime Minister's residence opposing the move.

Approximately forty protesters staged the loud protest after midnight Sunday night/Monday morning, and said their aim was to literally "wake the Prime Minister up" to the disdain for the terrorist releases felt by much of the Israeli population. 

They shouted slogans in Hebrew and English, including "Bibi tit'orer! (Bibi wake up!)" and "titbayshu! (you should be ashamed!)".

The group behind the rally, called Olim for an Independent Israel, spoke to Arutz Sheva. The organization is made up of Jewish immigrants to Israel, mainly from the United States.

"We came to awaken the Prime Minister, the government and the people of Israel," they explained. Many of the protestors were wielding drums and other noisemakers. 

"Some protesters [here] have served in the IDF in combat roles, and all of us hurts to see this move by the government of Israel," another activist explained.

Yitzchak, one of the group's organizers, explained the absurdity of the situation.

"We left everything behind in America in order to live our in independent, sovereign Jewish homeland," he stated. "The Prime Minister is not making decisions on what's best for Israel as an sovereign nation does. He is taking orders from the United States."

"If we wanted to live under American rule we would have stayed in the US," he continued. "This is a wake-up call to Bibi, a wake-up call to his rubber-stamp ministers and a wake-up call to the Israeli public which has gotten so complacent."

Two protesters were arrested by police, apparently after trying to get past the Prime Minister's security.

In an interview with Arutz Sheva, the protesters asked to clarify to the public that no attempt was made to burn tires or cause other damage - as was falsely claimed by other media outlets this morning. 

Outrage at the upcoming release of 26 convicted terrorists, set for Monday night and early Tuesday morning, has snowballed over the past several days. 

The Prime Minister's residence in Jerusalem has been a popular protest site against the release, with bereaved families holding demonstrations there Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday night, and Sunday

Protests have also erupted across Israel as the release looms. On Sunday night, activists from Judea and Samaria and the Kommemiyut organization staged a mass protest at the entrance  to Jerusalem, warning government officials that "the writing is on the wall" for Israel's future.

Bereaved families have also been planning to march outside the home of one of the released terrorists, Ahmed Khalaf, in the Old City of Jerusalem.