‘Shocked and Very Angry’: Victims’ families blast Israeli forces for giving terrorist smoke break

“Just shocked, astounded and very angry and we have no words to describe the disappointment.”

By World Israel News Staff

A video showing one of the Elad terrorists puffing away on a cigarette while handcuffed and surrounded by Israeli security forces sparked outrage among the Israeli public, including the family of one of his victims.

“We are shocked and astounded by the way the damned terrorists were caught and how they are treated after the arrest. Giving them cigarettes,” the family of Yonatan Havakuk, one of the victims of Thursday’s attack, said in a statement published by Hebrew language media.

“Just shocked, astounded and very angry and we have no words to describe the disappointment.”

In a separate interview with Ynet, Habakuk’s widow Limor seethed with rage. “Why was he given a cigarette?” she asked.

“[The terrorists] wil be sitting in a hotel while my son asks where his father is. Take away their citizenship, enough with the picnic.”.

The optics of the smoke break were not lost on the other victims’ families.

In an interview with Kan News, Yossi Gol, whose brother Boaz was murdered in the attack Thursday, said he was disappointed that the security forces apprehended the terrorists alive.

He said he was “very sorry [security forces] did not finish them off on the spot.”

The terrorists “are now going to jail and getting a TV, a bachelor’s degree, schnitzel [fried chicken], and will choose who to sit in the cell with,” Gol added.

Some commentators noted, however, that providing a suspect with food, water, and other material comforts helps foster rapport between perpetrators and investigators.

Building trust by offering the terrorist a cigarette is likely an intentional move meant to build trust, in the hopes that he will speak more freely with security forces about his actions, motivations, and possible accomplices, they said.