The memorial was held as a protest against the promotion of Prison Service officers who they claim were involved in the events that led to the deaths of their family members.
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Rachel Algavasi, the late Paviola Bohadana's partner led the ceremony.
Bereaved families remember fallen (Photo: Avishag Shaar-Yashuv)
The event opened with a moment of silence. "This is not a demonstration; the opposite is true; this is an event demanding respect and justice," Algavasi noted. After her speech, participants read out a psalm and a prayer in memory of the fallen Muslim and Druze.
"A year and nine months have passed since that dreadful day and wee are still waiting for someone to take responsibility and tell us what really happened."
Zvia, mother of volunteer Elad Rivan said: "We are not seeking vengeance, we are demanding justice." According to Zvia: "The State of Israel must put a halt to the nasty habit of using the buddy system and then protecting your buddy. We must fit the role to the most suitable person and not to the best friend. I care about this country a lot and that is how I raised my son Elad."
"This is a painful day that could have been avoided," said Natan Tzidki, father in law of one of the fallen prison guards. "For two years now we are chasing justice in vain."
He claims that "if the prime minister would have agreed to our demand for a national commission of inquiry from the start, the entire affair would have ended long ago, but meanwhile, everyone continues to string us along."
One of the organizers of the 'alternative' ceremony is David Dayan, father of Yochai Dayan from Karmiel who was killed in the disaster. "The conduct of the Prison Service and the disregard for the comptroller's report brought about the protest. Officers that the comptroller pinpointed as liable for the disaster were promoted."
The official ceremony to commemorate the Prison Service fallen is set to take place at head quarters in Ramleh, but the bereaved families are boycotting it, claiming that the Prison Service was "deaf and derisive of the memories of their loved ones."
Some 44 people were killed in the disaster which occurred in December 2010. The State Comptroller's report into the events surrounding the fire found that Interior Minister Eli Yishai and Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz had special responsibility for the serious failings.
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