Haifa mayor meets families' representatives
Haifa mayor meets families' representatives Haifa municipality

Representatives of the families of the victims of the Haifa bus 37 suicide bombing in 2003 met Wednesday with Einat Kalisch-Rotem to demand that one of the terrorists responsible for the bombing not be allowed to return to Haifa to live after his scheduled release from prison in March 2023.

The meeting was preceded by a letter sent by the bereaved families about a month ago to Defense Minister Benny Gantz, in which they demanded that restrictions be placed on the terrorist so that he could not return to the city of Haifa or anywhere close to their places of residence.

The families said that "the terrorist was born in East Jerusalem and is not from Haifa by birth. He is an extremist Islamist and it is clear that the years he spent in prison did not make him a Zionist. We do not want to walk around a mall or street in Haifa and see the terrorist who killed our child smiling in front of us."

The mayor agreed to the familes' request and undertook to issue a letter on their behalf to Defense Minister Gantz, saying: "Your request is logical and self-evident and we will take care of it. Unfortunately this is not within the local authority's authority, but your demand is understandable, and we will not remain indifferent to it. I join the outcry you are making on this matter."

17 people were murdered and 53 wounded in the March 2003 bombing, including many students of Haifa University. The Hamas terrorist organization claimed responsibility for the attack.

Three terrorists who were involved in planning and carrying out the attack were released in the 2011 deal which secured the release of IDF soldier Gilad Shalit from Hamas captivity.