Updated: Aug 1, 2022
Please click here for a list of posts relating to the May 2021 Arab rioting throughout Israel and click here for a list of posts relating to cases in which Honenu has represented victims of rock or Molotov cocktail attacks.
Thursday, July 28, 2022, 15:40 At a Haifa District Court hearing, the office of the Haifa District Attorney indicted Rani Bin Majdi Firan, one of the terrorists who brutally attacked Mor Janashvilli during the May 2021 rioting in Acco. Out of the dozens of Arab rioters who attacked Janshvilli, only three have been convicted as of today. Janashvilli was present at the hearing, accompanied by Honenu Attorney Chayim Bleicher, who is representing him. Now that the terrorist has been indicted, they hope that he will receive a stiff penalty.
Firan was involved in other incidents prior to the attack on Janashvilli. He is charged with injuring security forces, torching the "Uri Buri" restaurant in the Old City of Acco, blocking streets with garbage dumpsters, looting a clothing store, and burning the goods. He was nationalistically and ideologically motivated. Among other charges, Firan was indicted for aggravated assault in an act of terror, arson, rioting that resulted in racially motivated vandalism, malicious racially motivated vandalism, disturbing a policeman in the line of duty, and recklessness.
During the hearing, a verbal clash developed between Janashvilli's family and the terrorists and his relatives. After the hearing, Janashvilli described the difficulty of facing the terrorist: "It was very hard for me to stand and see evil incarnate smiling and mocking me. He's a mega-terrorist, who carried out dozens of attacks in Acco. Like I said, unfortunately, the State of Israel, as written in the State Comptroller's Report, did not figure it out a day ahead of time, on May 11, that terrorists would do it again. And look, he did it again. He injured me, and it was very difficult to watch [him in court]."
Janashvilli hopes that the penalty handed down to the terrorist will be severe enough to deter others: "As far as I am concerned, he and his family should be exiled from the country. His family feels that they have the upper hand. He should be imprisoned for life. But, as we know, it won't happen with this judicial system, unfortunately. Our blood has become cheap. It's simply intolerable, seeing them continue to do whatever they want."
Mor's brother was present at the hearing and spoke about the family's feelings: "I am usually quiet at the hearings, but this angered me. It really hurt me. I heard everything that they did to my brother. I was on the phone with him when it happened. I heard everything. It emotionally finished me to hear my brother shouting for me to help him, and I couldn't help him and save him. I constantly try to think of what he went through and felt during those moments. The thought that they are laughing at him here in court, and the court isn't giving stiff penalties that deter [potential terrorists], angers me. We live it constantly. Seeing the court be so powerless with regard to these incidents is very hard for us. We are suffering, seeing them [the attackers] and their families smiling like this. I hope that the court comes to its senses and that the judges hand down stiff penalties as we expect."
Honenu Attorney Chayim Bleicher, who is representing Janashvilli as a victim of terror, stated after the hearing, "We come here every time. Mor is particular to come to all of the hearings because he cares and does not want any more attacks to occur. Each time the experience is unsettling, for Mor and for whoever is with him. The feeling is really one of looking into the face of evil. The people who carried out the brutal, cruel attack on Mor looked for Jewish victims only because they were Jews."
Nonetheless, Bleicher has hope: "There is something encouraging about today. The trial has been going on for a year already and only three suspects have been indicted and convicted, one of them of a minor offense and two of them of serious crimes. There were dozens of terrorists who took part in the attack. Every single one of them is a murderer, and only three were apprehended. This feeling, that after a year another terrorist has been brought to trial, is encouraging. We call on the office of the State Attorney, the police, and the GSS not to let up. Everyone who was a part of the rioting during Operation Guardian of the Walls should be imprisoned. It must be understood that these terrorists are waiting for another opportunity."
Bleicher stressed that the brutal attacks during the May 2021 rioting are precedential: "The office of the State Attorney is demanding stiff penalties for the perpetrators, but the courts are not acquiescing. The courts have demanded precedents of stiff penalties. This incident has no precedent: Israeli citizens rose up against the state during a war. Dozens of rioters attacked innocent citizens during a time of war. This has never happened in Israel. Judges, listen to the people. Stop imposing lenient penalties."
Leading up to the hearing, Honenu Attorney Chayim Bleicher said, "The operations to apprehend the terrorists who carried out the brutal attack have continued over a year since the attack, indicating the determination of the office of the State Attorney and the police in the face of terror. This sends a clear message that every perpetrator of serious acts against Israeli citizens will be pursued until they pay a high price for their actions.
"We expect to see the courts joining the welcome efforts of the office of the State Attorney, imposing stiff penalties on terrorists, thus creating a deterrence that will prevent incidents such as this from repeating," concluded Bleicher.
During the Arab rioting at the time of Operation Guardian of the Walls (May 2021), Janashvilli was attacked by dozens of Arab rioters who pelted his car with large rocks, heavy furniture, and anything else they could get their hands on. Janashvilli lost control of his car, drove it into a wall, and was forced to flee. The Arab mob beat him with metal and wooden bars, punched him, and kicked him until he collapsed on the ground in a semi-conscious state. He was saved at the last moment, apparently by Arabs who called the emergency services. He was evacuated by ambulance to the hospital, suffering from bruises on his entire body, broken bones, cuts on his face, partial paralysis in his left leg, headaches, and dizziness.