Updated: Apr 25, 2022
Monday, March 14, 2022, 19:13 On Monday, March 14, a penalty hearing was held in the trial of Khalil Abed Alhalaq Mahmed Duikat at the Lod District Court. Duikat murdered Rabbi Shai Ohayon, Hy"d, in a stabbing attack in Petah Tikva in August 2020. Sivan Ohayon, Rabbi Ohayon's widow appeared opposite the terrorist and demanded that justice be done. Ohayon leveled criticism at the State of Israel for allowing terrorists to receive financial benefits from the PLO and defined it as a "prize for terror". Honenu Attorney Chayim Bleicher, who is representing the family and assisting them with realizing their rights as victims of terror, accompanied Ohayon to the hearing.
Duikat interrupted the hearing and Sivan Ohayon's testimony several times, made derogatory remarks about the murder victim, and also shouted at the court, "You are terrorists. I am not a terrorist." The judges warned Duikat several times to stop disrupting the hearing.
Honenu Attorney Chayim Bleicher, who is representing the Ohayon family: "Today a penalty hearing took place for a murderous terrorist. The widow of Rabbi Shai Ohayon, Hy"d, stood opposite the judges and said that she knows they would do their part when handing down the sentence, but that the government of Israel will continue to allow terror to be funded.
"We demand penalties, not prizes, for terrorists. The time has come for the judges who are responsible for penalizing terrorists in the State of Israel to speak out before the government that allows terror to be funded, and ensures that the funds are transferred to terrorists. The judges must clearly state, 'No more'. In addition to a life sentence for the terrorist as is required by law, it must be clear that the government of Israel will prevent the transfer of salaries to terrorists and the transfer of benefits and prizes to them and to their families."
Sivan Ohayon: "It is not easy for me, but it was important for me to come and speak. It was important to me to let my voice and that of my children, who have been left without a father – who was a loving father, supportive, who was their support, and gave them an answer for everything – be heard. Shai was my compass. He was a man with common sense, who loved everyone for what they were.
"We are a broken family today, who is coping with the great void that Shai left. This daily trauma is too much for me and for every one of my children who cannot think of how their father will never be with them and will never accompany them at their most meaningful moments. Shai was on his way to pick up his children and bring them home, and hadn't come to harm anyone. It is important to me to speak today because I know that it's natural that in a month, two months, nobody will remember us, and that is the way of the world. But we need to cope with this trauma every day.
"I ask the court to severely judge this murderer and the cruel act that he did. I ask the court to do everything that is necessary … so that acts such as this will not be repeated. The moment that you hand down his penalty, the State of Israel will allow him to receive a prize. He and his family will receive benefits and funds [from the PA] that the State of Israel will allow them to receive, and that in effect is a prize for terror. It is important to me that someone else who thinks of taking a life will think twice about what he is risking."