Rafi Levengrond; Photo credit: Yonatan Zindel Flash 90
Thursday, January 23, 2020, 16:51 On Sunday, January 26, a deliberation will be held on the appeal filed by the Military Advocate General on the leniency of the penalty handed down to the mother of the Barkan terrorist, who was convicted of failure to prevent a crime. She was aware of her son’s intent and did not take reasonable action to prevent the attack. She was sentenced to an active sentence of only 18 months’ imprisonment. Payment of 40,000 NIS in compensation to the victims’ families was also imposed on her. The families of Kim Levengrond-Yehezkel, Hy”d, and Ziv Hajbi, Hy”d will be present at the deliberation, as will Honenu Attorney Chayim Bleicher, who is assisting the families as victims of terror. Bleicher: “As of now, the number of appeals to the military court indicates the need for stiffening the penalties handed down to abettors who enable terrorists to carry out their intents, in part to create a deterrent than will prevent future attacks. The mother was convicted because she was aware of the terrorist’s intent and did not prevent the attack. We expect the court to increase her sentence by many years, and thereby definitely save the lives of Israeli citizens in the future.” At the deliberation at which the mother of the terrorist was convicted, the President of the Military Court stated that reports by members of a family that one of them intends to carry out an attack are of great importance, and that “The defendant suspected objectively and subjectively that her son would carry out an attack, and did not act in the manner required by law to prevent the planned attack.” In the conviction itself, the President of the Military Court wrote that, “In this instance, the value of human life overrides familial relationships.” When the terrorist’s mother was convicted of failure to prevent the attack, the President of the Military Court quoted an article by Professor Kremnitzer: “In the reality in which suicide terror attacks are not a rare sight, it is difficult to assume that the law would be willing to absolve from criminal responsibility a man (including a relative) who suspected a plot to carry out a suicide attack, refrained from verifying the suspicion and also refrained from reporting it [to the authorities]. Is the value of the lives of the victims not ten times the value of the freedom to act, [concern for] the discomfort and the emotional difficulty of the suspicious relative?” The President of the Military Court explained that, “In my opinion, it is impossible to be satisfied with ineffectual action which does not have the power to prevent the planned violation. An act genuinely capable of preventing the violation is required, and the act must be independent of the individual planning the attack. An attempt to persuade the intended perpetrator to refrain from acting is not enough, and neither is warning him.” In conclusion, the President of the Military Court wrote, “The acts of the defendant, warning her son and informing his father, did not have sufficient power to prevent someone determined to lose his life while attacking Israelis, who possesses a weapon, from carrying out his plot. Moreover, the defendant did not ask the father to take the son’s weapon or report it to the authorities, and did not check with him [the father] about what had been done with the matter. There was nothing in her actions that was likely to prevent her son from implementing his plot, and therefore she should be convicted of the act attributed to her.” As stated above, the Military Advocate General filed an appeal on the leniency of the penalty handed down to the terrorist’s mother.