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Attacked couple testified in court at penalty hearing

Updated: 6 days ago

Please see here a list of posts relating to cases in which Honenu provided legal counsel to victims of antisemitic attacks in Jerusalem.

Bloodstained car; Photo credit: Shirel Reish

Tuesday, May 10, 2022, 17:52 Avia and Shahar Anteman, who were brutally attacked on the day of their engagement almost exactly one year ago (May 9, 2021), testified at a penalty hearing for three of the terrorists at the Jerusalem District Court on Tuesday, May 10. Honenu Attorney Chayim Bleicher accompanied them. The couple described how their celebration turned into a traumatic incident, the effects of which they still feel today.

Avia focused on the difficulties that the couple has endured since the attack: "As long as we do not know whether or not the defendants [the attackers] have been brought to justice, it is difficult for us to walk around Jerusalem. We will not relax until they are penalized. We expect the court to hand down a stiff penalty to those guilty of injuring me."

Anteman proposal; Photo courtesy of the photographer

Shahar described how their joyous day turned into trauma: "This was our engagement, an event for which we waited and about which we had dreamed our entire lives. This event, instead of being forever remembered as the happiest event of our lives, will be remembered as a traumatic event." She also explained how they carry the effects with them to this day: "Things which we hadn't experienced before the incident, we experience now, fear and a threatening feeling. Therefore our demand is that the guilty parties in this case receive the maximum penalties. Some of the attackers have not yet been detained. We also demand that they and others like them be deterred [from attacking again], that they understand that it's not worth it. We would appreciate it if the court could consider what we experienced and penalize them to the full extent of the law."

Honenu Attorney Chayim Bleicher, who is representing the Antemans: "At this time, when Arab terror is on the rise, and Jews are being murdered in the street, there is a need for the courts to also do their part in the war on terror, to hand down penalties that will deter anyone who participates in an act of terror against Jews. We expect the court to sentence the terrorists who took part in these attacks to many years in prison and to improve deterrents against the next terrorists who would attempt to injure Jews."

At the hearing, the terrorists' attorney requested a postponement of hearing the arguments. The judge postponed the hearing until next month but agreed to hear testimonies from the Antemans, who were already present in the courtroom.


Avia in Sha'arei Tzedek Hospital; Photo credit: Tzur Anteman

The Attack:

The attack occurred immediately after Avia proposed to Shahar in Beit HaHoshen, overlooking the Temple Mount. The couple announced their engagement to family and friends and then headed towards Beit Orot. On the way, their car was blocked by other cars and at the A Tor Intersection dozens of Arab rioters threw rocks at them. Avia got out of the car to drive the rioters away, but they threw him to the ground and beat him. They also stabbed him in the back, but at that point, he was unaware of the stabbing.

Shahar escaped from their car, hid behind another car, and called the police. She described the police dispatcher who took her call as someone who “wasn’t overly impressed” by the report. Avia, who was unaware that Shahar had left the car on her own, broke free from his attackers, drove quickly to Beit Orot, and told policemen there that an Arab mob had kidnapped his finance.

A police car went to the site where Shahar had left the couple's car, and she left her hiding place to go to it. The couple met up again in Beit Orot. Avia was evacuated, injured and bleeding, to Sha’arei Tzedek Hospital. He suffered a head injury, stab wounds to his back, and a punctured lung. Due to prolonged hospitalization and outpatient treatments, the couple postponed their engagement party.

Shahar filed a complaint with the police. Avia voiced a complaint about the response by the police: “The police failed in their duties. We saw police all over the area, and even though Shahar called them, they didn’t come until I went and told them face to face about the attack. There is no deterrence factor. They know that incidents happen. We’re not the first to have rocks thrown at us there. Despite that, until I went to them, they didn’t do anything.”

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