The Almagor terror victims association held a press conference Tuesday evening in front of the Prime Minister's Residence in Jerusalem in light of reports that Israeli spy Jonathan Pollard will be released from US jail in return for hundreds of Palestinian prisoners and that the release of the fourth batch of prisoners will be carried out.
Meir Indor, chairman of the Almagor association, slammed the intention to release the prisoners: "We are trying to convey a very clear message that releasing murderers with blood on their hands is something that should not be done. The Americans are forcing Israel to negotiate over Jewish blood."
According to Indor, representatives of the organization were supposed to meet with a senior minister, but the meeting was cancelled due to what he termed as a deep crisis between Likud and Bayit Yehudi.
"The State of Israel has already done its part in releasing prisoners. We were supposed to get Pollard back with Clinton's promise. The Americans simply deceived us," Indor said.
Father of terror victim Ruth Fogel at protest tent, Tuesday (Photo: Alex Kolomoisky, Yedioth Ahronoth) Photo: Alex Kolomoisky, Yedioth Ahronoth Families of terror victims at protest, last week. (Photo: Reuters)
Yaakov Tobul, the father of Lior Tobul who was killed in a terror attack in 1993, also spoke at the press conference, saying that the Israeli spy had signed a letter in the past saying that he is not willing to be freed in exchange for the release of terrorists.
Tobul, whose son's murderer may be released in the fourth batch of prisoners, directed most of the blame towards the US government. "The United States is blackmailing us more than Abbas is," Tobul said.
Also present among the speakers was Rabbi Yehuda Ben Yishay, the father of Ruth Fogel who was murdered along with four members of her family in the terror attack in the town of Itamar, on March 2011.
"Israel is at a very critical juncture. We have become a symbol in the eyes of the world due to our battle against terrorism, terrorists and people who kill indiscriminately, but unfortunately, it came to the point of (the life of) a three-month-year-old baby. Today, these murderers are called prisoners, and not terrorists."
Representatives of the Almagor association also responded to reports of the release of prisoners and demanded that the government stop the unilateral gestures.
"The future release of terrorists should be conditioned on a peace agreement and not on willingness to hold discussions on peace."
The association further said: "The release of prisoners, done on our expense, is a political compromise of a government that has failed and was unable to protect our loved ones, and is using us in the most cynical way for its own ends."
Earlier Tuesday, a member of the US Parole Commission said convicted Israeli spy has waived a planned parole hearing.
White House spokesperson Jay Carney said President Barack Obama has not made a decision on whether to release the convicted spy.
"Jonathan Pollard was convicted of espionage and he is serving his sentence," Carney said.
"I don't have any other update to provide you on Mr. Pollard's status. There are obviously a lot of things happening in that arena and I am not going to get ahead of discussions that are under way," he said. Carney would not elaborate on the US discussions with the Israelis.
Releasing Pollard would be an extraordinary step underscoring the urgency of US peace efforts. US defense and intelligence officials have consistently argued against releasing Pollard.