Justice Minister Shaked at the Choosing Life conference
Justice Minister Shaked at the Choosing Life conference Im Tirtzu

Dozens of bereaved families gathered Thursday night at a special conference in Jerusalem's Ammunition Hill, calling on the Israeli government to implement a strong deterrence plan to fight terrorism.

The event was the first-ever conference organized by the Choosing Life Forum of bereaved families, a group of over one hundred bereaved families of terrorism. The conference featured speeches from a variety of bereaved families and members of Knesset on the topic of defeating terrorism.

Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked (New Right) spoke and called on the security establishment "to find a way to stop the money that terrorists receive through Israel."

Other speakers included MK Moti Yogev (Jewish Home), MK Oded Forer (Yisrael Beytenu), MK Shuli Mualem (New Right), Dr. Mordechai Kedar, and former Director of the Military Prosecution in Judea and Samaria, Lt. Col. (res) Maurice Hirsch. Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein (Likud) recorded a video that was played during the conference.

The Choosing Life Forum was established three years ago with the goal of increasing Israeli deterrence against would-be terrorists.

The Forum, which is accompanied by the Zionist organization Im Tirtzu, has played a leading role in promoting a number of anti-terror initiatives including the effort to lower terrorists' privileges in prison and the law preventing the early release of terrorists.

Devorah Gonen, one of the leaders of the Forum whose son Danny was murdered while hiking in 2015, said that the aim of the Forum is to "defeat terrorism."

"Our loved ones left us a will written in blood with one sole purpose – to prevent the next attack," said Gonen. "We expect from all the member of government, including the ones present here tonight, to commit to advancing an all-out war against the terror rampaging throughout Israel."

Hadas Mizrahi, wife of Chief Superintendent Baruch Mizrahi who was murdered in a drive-by shooting in 2014, said: "We didn't choose to become bereaved families. We could have disconnected, coped by ourselves and become lost in our grief. But at this crossroads we decided to stand up, unite, and fight for life. We decided to work together to defeat terrorism."

Other members of the Forum include the families of Shir Hajaj who was murdered in a truck ramming attack in Jerusalem; Hallel Yaffa who was stabbed to death by a terrorist in her home in Kiryat Arba; Kim Levengrond Yehezkel and Ziv Hajbi who were murdered in the Barkan Industrial Park; Yosef, Chaya and Elad Salomon who were stabbed to death in Halamish; Youssef Ottman who was murdered while guarding the community of Har Adar; and Ron Kokia who was stabbed to death in Arad.

Choosing Life conference
Im Tirtzu
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