Barkan terrorist’s mother sentenced

Tuesday, November 12, 2019, 16:00 On Tuesday, November 12, the Shomron Military Court in Salem sentenced the mother of the Barkan terrorist to an 18-month active prison term and imposed payment of a 5,000 NIS fine and of 40,000 NIS in compensation to the families of the victims. She had known of her son’s intent and was convicted of failure to prevent the attack. At the deliberation 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.” Honenu Attorney Chayim Bleicher, who is assisting the families of the victims, Kim Levengrond-Yehezkel, Hy”d, and Ziv Hajbi, Hy”d, stated: “The sentence deviates from what the appellate court ruled in the trial of the terrorist’s brother, that the penalty should be stringent. The terrorist’s brother, who was convicted of a crime significantly more minor than the crime of ‘failure to prevent an attack’, received, after an appeal, a penalty of two years of active prison service. We ask the Military Advocate General to appeal the leniency of the penalty, and ask that it be doubled or tripled.” 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.” The mother of the Barkan terrorist was accused of being aware of her son’s intention to carry out an attack and not stopping him. The mother heard her son target shooting near their home, and later he told her that he was fed up with his life and intended to become a shahid. The terrorist warned his mother that because of the weapons training the army was liable to search their home, and she informed her husband. Moreover, the mother attempted to caution her son, but did not inform any authority and did not act in another reasonable manner to prevent the murder.

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