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Gelman family demands maximum sentence for terrorist

Updated: Oct 4, 2022

Major (Res.) Eliav Gelman, Hy”d; Photo credit: IDF Spokesperson's Unit

Wednesday, September 28, 2022, 13:41 On Wednesday, September, 28, a penalty hearing took place at the Ofer Military Court in Yehuda in the trial of Mamdouh Yusaf Amro, the terrorist who murdered Major (Res.) Eliav Gelman, Hy"d, in a 2016 terror attack at the Etzion Bloc Junction. Members of the Gelman family were present at the hearing, accompanied by Honenu Attorney Chayim Bleicher, and testified against the terrorist. They demanded the maximum penalty for the terrorist.

Initially, the Military Court in Yehuda in a majority ruling convicted the terrorist of only manslaughter, and a penalty hearing was held based on that ruling. The Military Advocate General appealed the decision. The Military Court of Appeals unanimously convicted the terrorist of murder and returned the case to the Military Court in Yehuda for re-sentencing.

Gelman family after hearing; Photo credit: Honenu

At the conclusion of the hearing, the Gelman family made a statement: "For six and a half years the Military Advocate General, Honenu, and we, the family, have been working toward one thing: A terrorist who kills must die on the spot or at least remain buried in solitary confinement for his entire life. Only thus is terror defeated. We came today to the [Ofer] Military Court to demand the maximum penalty possible for the terrorist so that at least he will rot in solitary confinement until his last day. Six and a half years since the murder and the terrorist has not yet been sentenced to rot in prison. This is not how to win the war [on terror]."

The family added: "We are here in the name of all bereaved families and the entire People of Israel to verify that there will not be any compromises in the sentencing and that [the court] will not hand down a sentence that is less than the maximum penalty a terrorist who comes to murder deserves. We pray that 'the year and its curses will end' and that thanks to the determined war on terror, on the ground and in the courts, we will defeat terror. And that no more families will suffer what we have suffered."

Honenu Attorney Chayim Bleicher, who is representing the family: "The incident was a terror attack in every way. A terrorist who comes to carry out an attack wants to destroy us. Every terrorist who comes to carry out an attack takes his life into his own hands and every effort should be made so that he does not come out of it alive. And if he does remain alive, it is obvious that he must be indicted for murder and sentenced to the maximum penalty. We came with the family to verify this. One must not give in to terror. One must fight terror with all available means, including judicial means. Every compromise strengthens terror. We hope that the message will be accepted and that the court will rule that the terrorist will not see the light of day for the rest of his life."

On February 24, 2016, Mamdouh Yusaf Amro age 26, a resident of Dura in the Har Hevron region arrived at the scene of the attack and walked towards the hitch-hiking stop at the Etzion Bloc Junction. After arousing the suspicions of the soldiers at the junction, he started to run and waved a knife. Gelman and several civilians were waiting at the hitch-hiking stop. Gelman drew his pistol and charged the terrorist. Unfortunately, Gelman was injured by “friendly fire” and tragically died of his wounds. The court ruled that the terrorist is culpable for Gelman’s death because the shot was fired as a result of his actions.

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