Updated: Jan 22, 2022
Wednesday, December 29, 2021, 13:04 On Wednesday, December 29, the Juvenile Military Court, Presiding Judge Lieutenant Colonel Rani Amar, Judge Major Dr. Shai Farber, and Judge Major Avi Wasserman, handed down a sentence of 19 years’ imprisonment and an additional suspended sentence to a terrorist who carried out an attack near Ma’arat HaMachpela (Cave of the Patriarchs) approximately two years ago. The court also imposed a fine and payment of monetary compensation to the complainants. The terrorist first stabbed, M. a young Jewish man, then attacked K., a young Jewish woman who was with M., and a passer-by who came to their assistance. The terrorist, who was a minor at the time, was convicted of attempted murder and two counts of aggravated assault.
M. and K., who got married several months after the attack, spoke after the sentencing: “We thank Honenu, in particular Attorney Chayim Bleicher, who assisted us during the entire process, from the first moment. We think that the length of the prison sentence is insufficient and that the penalty should be stiffer for terror attacks of every kind. The fact that there are still attacks indicates the effectiveness of the penalties. We are pleased that in relation to the usual penalization, the terrorist received a long prison sentence, and for that we thank everyone who was involved with the trial. We pray for a genuine change, so that Jews will be able to walk freely without fear everywhere in the Land of Israel.”
Honenu Attorney Chayim Bleicher, who is representing the victims: “Compared to previous sentences handed down to minors who have committed acts of terror, the sentence in this case is an improvement. We still think that it is too lenient, because when terrorists come to kill Jews they must not be released while they still have their strength. They must be permanently, or nearly permanently removed from society. Honenu will continue to work with victims of terror to ensure that penalties for terrorists are increased. This is one of the ways to fight and prevent terror, in addition to other actions that must be taken against terrorists and their supportive environments.”
To recap, the attack occurred near Ma’arat HaMachpela. The terrorist, who was carrying a knife with an 8.5 cm. blade, noticed M. and K., a young Jewish couple, walking together towards him, and stabbed M. in the back. The blade penetrated his back to the depth of 6.5 cm. and then broke.
A passer-by noticed what was happening and called out, “Murderer, murderer”. Then the terrorist made stabbing gestures towards M. with the knife handle, beat him with his fists, and left him. Next, the terrorist chased K., beat her, shoved her, and pulled her hair. The passer-by attempted to separate K. from the terrorist, who attacked him, injuring his back, chest, head, and face. Security forces arrived and overpowered the terrorist. M. was evacuated to the hospital and underwent an operation to remove the knife blade from his back.
At the November 11 penalty hearing, the victims described to the judges the physical and emotional suffering that the attack had caused them. M. and K., who got married several months after the attack, testified about the difficulties that they have in common, with which they are forced to cope every day. The third victim lost his father and his brother in a shooting attack approximately 28 years ago, which increased the impact of the attack on him.