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Military Advocate General’s office to appeal terrorist’s exoneration

Tuesday, November 27, 2018, 10:02 The Military Advocate General’s office announced their intent to appeal the decision by the Military Court in Yehuda to exonerate from murder the terrorist who carried out the attack in the Etzion Bloc in which Major (Res.) Eliav Gelman, Hy”d, was killed. The court convicted the terrorist, Mamdouh Yusaf Amro, of the lesser charge of manslaughter. On Sunday, November 25, the Gelman family met with the Military Advocate General of Yehuda and Shomron, who informed them of the decision to file an appeal on the verdict before the penalty is set, due to the severity of the matter. Itamar Gelman, Eliav’s brother, welcomed the decision and strongly criticized the verdict: “This morning we, along with other bereaved families and the People of Israel, were pleased to hear that the Military Advocate General’s office is filing an appeal on the dangerous verdict. Unfortunately we, the civilians, and the army fight terror, but the court is directed to treat terror attacks as criminal incidents, and is not directed by the legislature to rule on terror according to the laws of war, and thus in effect damages the genuine ability to fight terror.” Additionally Gelman expressed support for the IDF: “With this announcement we see that the Military Advocate General’s office is appealing a dangerous verdict and demanding an indictment for murder, as with every terror attack, proving that our beloved and strong IDF is fighting the war on terror with all its strength and on all the fronts. For this we are happy, and this happiness is not private but rather nation-wide.” Gelman concluded with an expression of hope that, “G-d willing with such efforts on the legal front and on the military front the People of Israel will continue to defeat terror. We are completely certain and pray that improved deterrence will result in victory and fewer families will be bereaved.” 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 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 of Gelman’s death, because the shot was fired as a result of his actions. Honenu Attorney Chayim Bleicher, who is assisting the family in realizing their rights as victims of terror stated that, “Yesterday evening, in a meeting held by the Military Advocate General of Yehuda and Shomron with the Gelman family, we stated our difficulties with the verdict that exonerates the terrorist from murder. We were informed that the prosecution had already decided at this stage to announce their appeal of the verdict and that also to them it is obvious that the verdict must be overturned. We hope that the verdict will actually be overturned and that the terrorist will be appropriately penalized.”

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