Five rioters from Hawara attack sentenced in plea bargain
Updated: Aug 22, 2022
May 7, 2019, 13:29 On May 18, 2017, an Itamar resident was attacked by a mob while driving through Hawara. Approximately two years some of the rioters have been penalized. Five of them have been sentenced to prison terms and required to pay thousands of shekels in compensation to the victim for physical injury and damage to his car. Honenu Attorney Chayim Bleicher stated that this is a sign of “significant progress”: “The rioters are paying for their acts with years in prison and with payment from their own money to victims of terror.” The trials ended in plea bargains reached by agreement between the Military Advocate General and the attorneys of the terrorists. The victim of terror was represented by Honenu Attorney Chayim Bleicher, who followed the legal proceedings, provided the victim with counsel throughout the legal proceedings, and also came to court and participated in some of the deliberations. The attack occurred approximately two years ago in Hawara during an illegal mass procession in which approximately 200 demonstrators participated in solidarity with security prisoners held in Israel. The victim was driving home to Itamar when suddenly the demonstrators blocked the road, surrounded his car and began to threaten him as they made gestures of slaughtering. Simultaneously a Red Crescent ambulance approaching in the opposite lane crossed lanes and also blocked the victim’s path. Then the demonstrators began to riot, kicking the victim’s car as he sat in it and throwing rocks of various sizes at him. The rocks shattered the car windows. To extricate himself from the situation, the victim was forced to use his personal weapon, and apparently two rioters were injured from the shooting, one of whom the Arabs claim later died from his wounds. Honenu Attorney Chayim Bleicher and the victim strongly objected to the relatively light sentence agreed to in the plea bargain and asked that the court penalize the terrorist more severely and not accept the plea bargain, in light of the fact that the terrorist is known for having several indictments from past incidents. The indictments include various charges, among them possessing a weapon, manufacturing weapons without a permit, trafficking in war materiel, participating in aggravated assault and attacks, maliciously damaging a vehicle and participating in acts against the public order. Despite their objection, at the end of the trial the judge authorized the plea bargain. Despite the plea bargain, Bleicher welcomed the precedent made in the case: “This is an important step in the right direction: The attackers were found guilty instead of the victim being blamed, and several of the detainees were penalized, instead of detaining one lone participant out of many. There were dozens of participants in the attack. Six rioters were detained and evidence submitted against them, which led to the conviction and penalization of five of them, which is precedential. In similar situations of mass attacks in the past, many times the perpetrators were not penalized to the full extent of the law, and therefore this incident constitutes significant progress.” Bleicher added that, “We think that in attacks such as this, when the victim’s life is endangered, that it is appropriate for all of the participants to be charged with attempted murder and to pay the full price. We will continue to work towards that end. However the progress of filing indictments and imposing penalties to even some of the rioters is encouraging.” In addition Bleicher pointed to the fact that the victim was forced to use his personal weapon. “The message that must be derived from the attack in Hawara is that every Israeli citizen who finds his life in danger has the right to defend himself and the attackers will need to pay the price. Likewise it is important to us that the terrorists who attacked the victim pay him compensation from their personal funds. Everyone should know that when an Israeli citizen is attacked, the State of Israel will not be satisfied with only a prison sentence but will also demand that the terrorists give monetary compensation to the victim”. The attackers who were detained are described below. Muhamed Mustafa was convicted in the plea bargain of taking part in the attack and sentenced to eight months imprisonment and obligated to pay thousands of shekels in compensation, which he himself paid. Barara Hamal, who was convicted of aggravated assault and throwing objects at a person, was sentenced to 18 months in prison and given a suspended sentence. In the end he will have served 27 months of active prison service. He also paid thousands of shekels in compensation to the victim. Namar Issa, who participated in the attack, was convicted of trafficking in war materiel and aggravated assault, and sentenced to five months imprisonment. He was also obligated to pay thousands of shekels in compensation, which he himself paid. Alkam Maflah, who was convicted of aggravated assault, throwing objects at a traffic lane and disruption of legal proceedings, was sentenced to 19 months imprisonment and an additional five month suspended sentence. In the end he will have served 24 months in prison and was obligated to pay thousands of shekels in compensation, which he himself paid to the terror victim. Ahmed Duikat, who was convicted of making incendiary material, throwing an explosive, aggravated assault and two counts of throwing objects at a moving vehicle, was sentenced to 36 months imprisonment and a suspended sentence. In the end he will have served 42 months in prison and was obligated to pay thousands of shekels in compensation, which he himself paid to the terror victim.