MKs, Victims ‘Shocked’ as Families of Terrorists Riot in High Court

A view of the High Court building in Yerushalayim.

The right place for families of terrorists who have murdered Israelis, “in a country with normal standards would be in Gaza, where they should be deported to, and not in the High Court, where they sit like kings,” MK Betzalel Smotrich (Jewish Home) said in a social media post, after Israeli media broadcast footage of a near-riot in the High Court Tuesday. The incident occurred when Herzl Hajaj, whose daughter Shir, Hy”d, was murdered in a terror attack in 2016, addressed the court. As he spoke, families of terrorists began screaming and shouting him down, and a near-confrontation was averted only when security guards cleared the court.

Hajaj, and other members of families who lost loved ones to terrorists, are part of the “Choose Life” foundation, and were addressing the court on a ruling it issued regarding the authority of the state to hold terrorists as “bargaining chips” in negotiations for the release of Israeli soldiers held by Gaza terrorists. The court had previously ruled against that, but said that the Knesset could legislate on the matter. The case Hajaj and the other terror victims addressed involved an injunction against the release of the body of a dead terrorist.

The Arab terrorists’ families began shouting and screaming, demanding that the state respect their rights, with Hajaj and others responding “what rights are you talking about? What about the right of my daughter to live?” Tensions continued to mount, and some of the Arabs began advancing on the Jewish witnesses. Security guards cleared the room, but the confrontation continued outside the courtroom. It was only after a series of efforts by security guards and police to defuse tensions that everyone went home.

Commenting on the incident, Hajaj said that “this is as absurd as it gets. Terrorists who murdered Israelis, and the families that educated them that way, do not deserve a respectable burial site. This is a prize for terror. Bodies of terrorists should be dumped in the sea, like the United States did with Osama Bin Laden.”

Yisrael Beytenu MK Matan Peleg said “if we needed any further proof that families of terrorists support the murders that their children commit, we got it in copious amounts at the High Court hearing. The intimidation of families of victims by the families of the murderers is unacceptable.” Oded Forer, also from Yisrael Beytenu, said that the best response to the event was the passage of a capital punishment law for terrorist murderers. In addition, “the large number of rights prisoners have in Israeli have in prisons should be removed, and their relatives should be banned from the High Court. That is one way to reduce the arrogance of these families who have once again proven their approval of murder and violence. As for Tuesday’s events, the terrorist supporters should be arrested immediately.”