Minister Katz: I hope the protest tent will be dismantled soon

Welfare and Social Services Minister Haim Katz visited protest tent of bereaved families and local council leaders opposite PM's residence.

Orly Harary ,

Protest Tent
Protest Tent
Miriam Tzahi

Welfare and Social Services Minister Haim Katz (Likud) visited the protest tent erected by bereaved families and local council leaders from Judea and Samaria opposite the Prime Minister's residence in Jerusalem.

Katz said that "It's a sad morning. I have come this morning to offer encouragement to the bereaved families who unfortunately have started a hunger strike. It is unreasonable and inappropriate that bereaved families, in order to provide security for other families, should have to go on hunger strike."

Katz added that "I still hope that this matter will end in the coming days, the families will return to their homes, this tent will be dismantled and the lives of these families will go back to being what they were previously."

Shomron regional council leader Yossi Dagan added that "we'll sit here on hunger strike until the budgetary allocation will be ratified. We're talking about human life. It's a shame we need a hunger strike to save lives."

Beit Aryeh regional council leader Avi Naim who said Sunday that he was joining the hunger strike announced that "the struggle here is over life, the struggle is so that the next family will be saved and will not be a bereaved family. We want certainty and expect the one person who is leading the country, the prime minister, to provide us with certainty. Until this happens we will not move from here."

Advah Biton, who lost her daughter Adele after a stoning attack on her car, said that "I have joined the protest tent today, its important for me to state that we, the bereaved families, arrived here to state unequivocally to all of the country's leaders that we are not willing to be second-class. We are citizens of the state of Israel and as such deserve to travel on proper well-lit roads with cellphone reception. I assume this [the security issue] is a core issue for every one of us."

Biton added that "we aren't asking something which is impossible, we've had enough of the talking. On a personal level, as a bereaved mother, we see on numerous occasions that people come when it is hardest to comfort us, participate in our great pain and talk with us about all kinds of changes. Now is the time to implement those promises, we're fed up with talk, we want to see operative decisions. May we merit that our cases will be the last ones. Unfortunately we are travelling on unsafe roads without cellphone reception. We don't want the next tragedy to happen."

Hadas Mizrahi who lost her husband Baruch Mizrahi in a shooting attack near Hevron, told Minister Katz that immediately after the attack she and her family waited 25 minutes until security forces arrived."I knew that there was no cellphone reception in the region and I had to wait 25 minutes until security forces arrived. I know what I and my children went through and what scars we were left with. I truly want us to be the last families, that nobody else should suffer an attack like we experienced and this is why we are leaving our families at home and coming here to hunger strike in the hope that it might help."