'Unpopular opinion.' Bereaved parents
Photo: Dudi Vaaknin

Bereaved parents: Prisoner swap will bring wave of terror

Parents gathered near Shalit protest tent in Jerusalem blame media for 'unbalanced coverage,' say 'everyone will lose' if terrorists released

Over the past few days a group of bereaved parents has been gathering opposite the protest tent set up by Gilad Shalit's family in Jerusalem.


The group is voicing its objection to a possible exchange deal with Hamas that would see the captive IDF soldier returned to Israel in exchange for hundreds of Palestinian prisoners - some of them considered to be terrorists with 'blood on their hands.'


"The Shalit family's campaign is spread out over whole pages in the newspapers, while we get two lines on the side of the page," said Yossi Tzur, whose son Asaf was killed when a suicide bomber detonated himself aboard a bus in Haifa on March 5, 2003.


Speaking to Ynet on Thursday, Tzur said ministers and Knesset members have ignored the group's request to discuss the issue.


"We've wasted the entire day trying to meet with ministers and MKs to present our stance, but none of them have responded. We received word that Likud MKs were specifically instructed not to talk to us," he said.


Tzur added that "I can tell from the headlines that there is a spark of optimism regarding Shalit," and stressed that the bereaved parents' struggle was not against the soldier's family.


"The bottom line is that we're all going to lose here, and there is no real discussion on the matter. A lot of people have been telling us that they feel as we do, but this opinion is just not popular, and no one listens to them," he said.


Ron Kehrmann, who lost his daughter Tal in the same terror attack in Haifa, said "Gilad Shalit is a soldier, and it is the duty of a solider to protect civilians. To its credit, the Shalit family has been successful in getting good press. Parents are obligated to do all they can for their children, but I expected the media to be more balanced and hear what the other side has to say.


"History has shown us that releasing terrorists only adds to their motivation, and we will face another wave of terror," he claimed.


Meanwhile, a Hamas figure told Ynet that Israel appears to be "more serious" in the current prisoner exchange talks in Cairo, adding that the Islamist group's delegation is authorized to close a deal without the need for another round of consultations.


פרסום ראשון: 03.12.09, 15:00
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