JERUSALEM, Oct. 28 -- Families of Israeli victims lashed at the Israeli government on Monday, after learning that a second batch of 26 Palestinian inmates would be released in the upcoming days.
Israel unveiled on Sunday the names of 26 Palestinians, all convicted of killing Israeli citizens before the 1993 Oslo Accords, who would be released as part of a U.S.-brokered deal between Israeli government and the Palestinian National Authority.
On Monday, many relatives of Israeli victims blamed the government's move as "betrayal."
"My country, my government have betrayed me once again by letting go convicted murderers who did not hesitate to kill children," said Ron Kerman, father of Tal Kerman, who was killed by a suicide bomber in 2003.
"I had to live through the pain of seeing one of my daughter's murderers walk free in 2011, and now, with every release, the pain and frustration comes back," Ron Kerman said, referring to the 2011 release of more than 1,000 Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails in exchange for Gilad Shalit, an Israeli soldier held captive by Hamas in the Gaza Strip.
The families, with the help of the nationalist right wing party Jewish Home, proposed a bill at the parliament this week that was turned down by the Ministerial Committee for Legislation and have now less than 24 hours to raise objection and appeal to the Supreme Court.
Many relatives feel they are the ones who are paying the price of the government's decision, and most of them are less than optimistic about the result of the peace talks that began in July.
"We're doing this huge sacrifice for nothing, for air. When they released Gilad Shalit at least something came out of it, Gilad returned home. It doesn't end for us, with every prisoner release, it's a blow," said Gila Moshe, sister of Ian Feinberg, a lawyer and NGO activist who was killed in 1993 in the Gaza strip.
The release of Palestinian prisoners, meant to be a good will gesture that coincides with the resumption of peace talks, is set to be conducted in four stages.