Hearing to be held in Gelman murder case

Updated: Jul 21


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

Wednesday, July 13, 2022, 16:42 On Thursday, July 14, the Yehuda and Shomron Military Court of Appeals will decide whether or not to accept an appeal filed by the Military Advocate General in the case of the terrorist Mamdouh Yusaf Amro. In February 2016, Amro carried out a stabbing attack at the Etzion Bloc Junction during which Major (Res.) Eliav Gelman, Hy"d, was injured by "friendly fire" and tragically died of his wounds. In October 2018, the Military Court in Yehuda ruled that Amro is responsible for the death of Gelman because the shot that killed him was caused by his actions. However, in a precedent and contrary to the opinion of the judge heading the panel, the court ruled that it was not possible to prove that Amro intended to cause Gelman's death in the attack. The court exonerated Amro from the crime of murder and convicted him of the lesser charge of manslaughter.

The Military Advocate General appealed the controversial ruling and is demanding a murder conviction. The Yehuda and Shomron Military Court of Appeals is expected to hand down a decision tomorrow. Leading up to the hearing, Honenu Attorney Chayim Bleicher, who is assisting the Gelman family with recognizing their rights as victims of terror, stated, "We are approaching the hearing with the expectation that the injustice done by the first court will be rectified. We hope to hear fundamental and clear statements by the appellate court against the ruling that is extremely detached from the reality of our lives.

"As was noticeable at the beginning of the appellate hearings, it turned out that the panel of judges in the first court erred in determining the facts. They erred in understanding what they saw in the video clips of the incident, and therefore they preferred to reject the testimony of the soldiers who testified that the terrorist attempted to stab again after he was shot. The most serious error of the majority of the judges in the panel was the exoneration of such a terrorist from murder because of an interpretation of the evidence that is detached from the existential reality of our lives in our country."

The Gelman family; Photo courtesy of the family

At the previous appellate hearing Ayal Gelman, Eliav's brother asked the judges to hand down the death penalty to the terrorist in order to increase the deterrence factor against terror, "so that there won't be more families like ours or widows. We need to stand up and raise a cry."

On February 24, 2016, the terrorist, 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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