Asaf Tzur, killed in attack
Photo: Channel 2
Suicide attack on Haifa bus in 2003
"The State of Israel betrayed my son for the first time when it allowed a suicide bomber to come to Haifa from Hebron, and now it is betraying him for a second time," a bereaved father wrote to Prime Minister Ehud Olmert Friday.
Yossi Tzur, who lost his son in a suicide attack on a Haifa bus six years ago, wrote a letter to Olmert after hearing reports that a prisoner swap deal for the release of kidnapped soldier Gilad Shalit may necessitate the release of the men responsible for the attack.
The prisoners, Mouaz Abu-Sharkh and Majdi Amru, were dealt 17 life sentences for sending Mahmoud Amdan Salim Kwasme to carry out the attack on March 5, 2003. Seventeen people were murdered, including Asaf Tzur, who was 16 years old.
Tzur told Ynet that the possible release of the two murderers weighed heavily on his mind, especially due to the covert manner in which negotiations were being carried out with Hamas.
"The victims' families don't find anything out until the last minute, when it's already too late," he said. "My son's memorial day is in two weeks. His murderers will get a present from the State while we fall apart."
In his letter, Tzur describes to Olmert the manner in which Abu-Sharkh and Amru defended their actions. "In an interview with British television they excuse the murder by saying, 'Every Jewish boy will one day be a soldier that will kill innocent Arabs'," he writes.
"They don't hesitate to say that they will continue on the path of terror and that it is a battle to the death. The release of terrorists of their kind endangers our safety and the safety of our children."
In a direct appeal to Olmert Tzur writes, "By changing direction and changing decisions you are harming both the families of the captives and the families of those murdered, who are paralyzed for life by just the thought of their child's murderer going free. You have not convinced me that you have done everything to release Shalit by other means, Prime Minister. Israel has a range of tools with which it can press Hamas."