Bereaved families announce hunger strike

Bereaved families slam PM Netanyahu's indifference, promise hunger strike until budget for safety measures in Judea, Samaria, is approved.

Eliran Aharon, Chana Roberts ,

Protest tent
Protest tent
Miri Tzachi

The bereaved families who set up a protest tent outside Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's residence in Jerusalem will begin a hunger strike on Sunday.

The strike will continue until Netanyahu approves the necessary funding for security components and paving bypass roads in Judea and Samaria.

Hadas Mizrahi, Ruti Hasno, and Yitzhak Abutbul told Netanyahu that they would go on a hunger strike until the security needs of Judea and Samaria were taken care of.

Hadas Mizrahi is the widow of murdered police officer Baruch Mizrahi, who was killed when a terrorist shot at the family's car on Passover eve 2014. The murderer was serving a sentence in an Israeli jail but was freed in 2011 as part of the Shalit deal.

Ruti Hasno's wife Avraham was murdered when an Arab driver lured him out of his car with a rock ambush and then ran over him at least twice. The same terrorist had targeted them 24 hours earlier, but the two managed a narrow escape.

Yitzhak Abutbul lost his wife Hadas when she was shot and killed in northern Samaria by Palestinian Authority terrorists on a Friday afternoon in November 2001 as she drove home from her work in nearby Shaked.

Mizrahi, Abutbul, and Hasno have been sitting in a protest tent for two weeks, together with Samaria Regional Council Head Yossi Dagan, Beit Aryeh Regional Council Head Avi Naim, and Kiryat Arba Council Head Malachi Levinger.

Netanyahu promised to transfer 800 million NIS (nearly $228 million) to secure the safety of Judea and Samaria's residents. However, it is not clear where the money will come from, and nothing has been done to advance the decision.

"Mr. Prime Minister - do not ignore our pain," the bereaved family members wrote. "After nearly two weeks in which we are protesting opposite your house - not only for our sake but for the sake of all of Israel - you have not even bothered to come and hear our complaints regarding the security of Israeli citizens and the prevention of future terror attacks."

"Unfortunately, we are forced to announce an escalation of our protest. Beginning Sunday, we will hold a hunger strike outside your residence. We call on you not to content yourself with announcements to the media, but to pass the necessary changes to the budget."

Dagan said, "This is an escalation which we should not have had to see. Prime Minister, do the right thing: Save the next bereaved family from the next tragedy. Provide a budget for constructing bypass roads and providing proper security for Jews in Judea and Samaria.

"I do not want to hold orphans' hands again, like I did when the Henkin parents were murdered. I do not want to see families like the Fogel family was after the massacre. Help the nation of Israel, as you surely know how to do. We have had enough pain and suffering."

Three of the Fogel family's children and both of their parents were murdered in cold blood as they slept in their beds on a Friday night in March 2011. Two of their children were miraculously spared, and their eldest daughter, who was out at the time of the massacre, returned home to find her family slaughtered.

Naama and Eitam Henkin were murdered in cold blood in front of their four children as they drove from a gathering of friends near Itamar and Elon Moreh to a Simchat Beit Hashoeva celebration in their hometown of Neria in Samaria's Binyamin Region. Both parents fought their attackers, and it is likely that in doing so, they saved their children's lives.