Terror victim’s widow says prisoners, including terrorists, should be vaccinated

The widow of a terror victim urges the Israeli government to vaccinate prisoners, including convicted Palestinian terrorists.

Yael Shevach’s husband, Rabbi Raziel Shevach, was killed in a drive-by shooting terror attack in the West Bank in 2018.

In a series of tweets, Shevach writes: “For all of my hatred for terrorist prisoners, I think we must give them vaccines.”

Yael Shevach (L), the wife of Raziel Shevach who was gunned-down in a January 9 terror attack near the Havat Gilad outpost consoles Miriam Ben-Gal, the wife of Itamar Ben-Gal, who was stabbed to death in a February 5 terror attack. Photo taken at Ben-Gal home on February 6, 2018. In the middle is Miriam’s grandmother Esther. (Courtesy)

“This doesn’t stem from compassion but rather common sense. We are trying to eradicate a pandemic, to prevent overload in hospitals, to prevent unnecessary death. It doesn’t seem reasonable to me that we should leave a group of people, who we decided… to keep under our auspices, and make them a danger to other populations in the worst case scenario, or, less seriously, an unnecessary burden on the hospitals.”

“This is not a position of compassion or mercy. The opposite. We decided not to assassinate them, there is no need to cause them harm as prisoners.”

Rabbi Raziel Shevach (c) with his family, in an undated photo (Courtesy of the family)

Defense Minister Benny Gantz on Monday called on Public Security Minister Amir Ohana to reverse his order not to vaccinate prisoners over the age of 60, saying the ban was illegal and made the fight against the coronavirus pandemic more difficult. Gantz voiced his concerns in a letter to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, asking the premier to intervene in the matter and order Ohana to rescind his decision.

Last month, Ohana instructed prison officials to refrain from vaccinating inmates against COVID-19 until further notice, after a Palestinian official said that security prisoners were expected to soon begin getting shots. Ohana’s ban included not only security prisoners, but all inmates.

This decision contradicted the orders of the Health Ministry — tasked with setting national policy on who should be vaccinated — which called for everyone age 60 and up, including prisoners, to receive the injection. A number of vaccinations were specifically set aside for that purpose.