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Press Release – 1.5.2019 //

The Israeli-Palestinian Memorial Day Ceremony

Once again, the Ministry of Defense has banned the entry to Israel of Palestinian bereaved families who requested permits in order to participate in the Israeli-Palestinian Memorial Day, organized by Combatants for Peace and the Parents Circle – Families Forum.

Representative of the two organizations announced their intention to appeal to the High Court of Justice through attorney Gaby Lasky, and said: “Netanyahu has not learned anything from the lessons of the past few years, including the decision of the High Court of Justice last year to reprimand the Defense Minister for preventing the entry of our Palestinian partners – people who have decided to put aside any desire for violence, terror or revenge, and who are working shoulder to shoulder with us for dialogue and reconciliation.”

The ceremony will take place on the eve of Memorial Day – Tuesday, May 7th at 21:00 in Hayarkon Park in Tel Aviv.

Last year, then-Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman prohibited the entry to Israel of Palestinian bereaved families intending to participate in the ceremony – a decision the High Court of Justice reversed at the last minute.

The organizers, members of the Combatants for Peace movement and the Bereaved Families Forum, submitted 181 applications this year for Palestinians wishing to take part in the ceremony, some of them bereaved families. All applications were submitted at the required time. However, on Wednesday morning, Defense Ministry officials announced that they were rejecting the requests because of the closure imposed on the occupied territories on the eve of Israel’s official Memorial Day.

Many of the refused Palestinians have permits to enter Israel and have been doing so regularly and legally throughout the year, participating in the various activities of both Combatants for Peace and the Bereaved Families Forum, including Israeli-Palestinian dialogue encounters. The movements have stated further:  “It is unfortunate, indeed outrageous that the Ministry of Defense not only turns its back on activities promoting partnership and peace, but also scorns all those bereaved families who wish to remember their loved ones in a joint framework that offers optimism and a common future.”

The Israeli-Palestinian Memorial Day Ceremony will be held this year for the 14th time and will offer the public an opportunity to deal with bereavement and the difficult questions raised by this emotionally charged day. Over 7,000 Israeli and Palestinian participants took part in the ceremony last year, including bereaved families on both sides.

A media tent will be set up at the site to enable meticulous and organized coverage of the event, including a press box, WiFi and screens broadcasting from the main stage of the ceremony. Throughout the ceremony, video and still files will be distributed via email to the various systems. In addition, the entire ceremony will be broadcast live from the Facebook page of the Bereaved Families Forum.

Media sites that wish to broadcast the ceremony live may receive an implementation code in advance.