Honenu to State Attorney: Appeal the lenient ruling
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Monday, September 19, 2022, 9:51 Last Tuesday, the Jerusalem District Court handed down lenient sentences to two terrorists who carried out a car ramming-stabbing attack in March 2019. Honenu Attorney Chayim Bleicher, who is representing the victims, asked the office of the State Attorney to appeal the lenient sentences.
In the letter to the office of the State Attorney Bleicher raised numerous points, among them that "the penalties do not correspond to the current customary ruling on the matter of crimes relating to attempted murder in a terror attack, in particular when the matter at hand is a planned attack combining [a car-ramming and a stabbing] during which the terrorists expressed great determination to implement their murderous intent."
Bleicher added: "When it comes to a violent terror attack such as this, with such a high level of severity, one must give preference to the broad considerations of deterrence and security of the public over the narrow individual-personal considerations of the terrorists themselves. The lives of Israeli citizens and their security are a thousand times more important than the freedom of those contemptible terrorists. First and foremost in the public interest is the verification that sentences for incidents such as this reflect that. This sentencing damages the war that the State of Israel is waging on terror. It also damages the many years of work that the office of the State Attorney and the lawmakers have invested to increase the severity of penalties and to strengthen the deterrence factor against terrorists."
The attack occurred on March 26, 2019. Two yeshiva students, Avraham Arend and Eliyahu Fuchs, stood on the sidewalk, near Sha'ar Yafo, waiting for the red light to change, when suddenly a car driven by an Arab driver jumped the curb onto the sidewalk and hit them. One of the injured students testified that the driver backed up and tried to run them over again. When he did not succeed, the two terrorists exited the car, and when the injured victims were on the ground, hit and kicked them. Then the terrorists got into their car and fled. A knife was found at the scene, and later it turned out that the terrorists had tried to stab one of the victims, but failed.
The terrorists were detained after a search of the area, but the police released them several hours after the attack, favoring their testimony over that of the victims and other eyewitnesses. The police erroneously announced that the incident had been a hit-and-run accident. Honenu insisted that it was a car-ramming attack, and demanded a thorough investigation, drawing criticism from the police, who claimed that the organization had not accurately assessed the incident.
Approximately six months after the incident, the GSS received information that led to a renewed investigation of the attack, and Honenu's claims were confirmed. Several months later, the GSS announced that they had determined what had happened, and the suspects were detained until the end of the proceedings against them. Then the police recognized the car-ramming as an attack. Both terrorists were indicted in January 2020 and convicted of attempted murder in an act of terror in May 2022.