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Penalty increased for Yanai Weisman’s murderer

The Weisman family in court, 10/2/2019; Photo credit: Honenu

The Weisman family in court, 10/2/2019; Photo credit: Honenu

Wednesday, June 10, 2020, 17:42 On Wednesday, June 10, the Military Court of Appeals sentenced a minor, one of the terrorists in the terror cell who murdered First Sergeant Tuvia Yanai Weisman, Hy”d, to life imprisonment. He was found guilty in a stabbing attack which took place on February 18, 2016, at the Sha’ar Binyamin branch of the Rami Levy supermarket chain. The terrorist was slightly less than 15 years of age at the time. With their ruling, Judge Colonel Netanel Benisho, Judge Colonel Eli Ben Tova’im, and Judge Lieutenant Colonel Moshe Shilo, accepted the appeal filed by the Military Advocate General, which had demanded a life sentence. Additionally, the Military Court of Appeals sentenced an additional member of the terror cell, who was 16-years-old at the time of the attack, to 32 years’ imprisonment, which upheld the decision of the Military Court in Yehuda. He did not succeed in entering the supermarket in which the murder was committed, and therefore received a more lenient sentence. A third member of the terror cell was sentenced to life imprisonment in a previous deliberation. The life sentence handed down to the 14-year-old sets a precedent, both due to his age and due to the fact that he expressed regret over his acts. The judges ruled that “even though there is significance to the age of the defendant, his acceptance of responsibility and his expression of regret, especially by a minor [his] age, these facts are insufficient to alter the ethical conclusion that a life sentence is the only penalty appropriate for his acts.” Both sides, the Military Advocate General and the terrorists’ attorneys, had filed appeals with the Military Court of Appeals concerning the two defendants. With regards to the 14-year-old, who actually stabbed Weisman, the judges accepted the appeal by the Military Advocate General and increased the penalty from 35 years’ imprisonment to a life sentence. Concerning the 16-year-old, the judges rejected both appeals, upholding the decision of the Military Court in Yehuda. The judges also imposed payment of compensation to the victims of terror on both defendants. Honenu Attorney Chayim Bleicher, who is assisting the family with realizing their rights as victims of terror: “We are pleased that the reprehensible murderer has been sentenced to life imprisonment, despite his young age. The Arab enemy who incites and endeavors to destroy Jews for being Jews, educates their youth to murder Jews with all means and at any time. We must fight back in the war on terror, and penalize murderers to the full extent of the law. Saving Israeli lives takes precedence over concern for the lives of terrorists and therefore we must act against terrorists with full strength, at the scene of an attack and in court, even when the terrorist is a 14-year-old. “We hope that this precedent will bring about a general understanding in the law enforcement system that terror must be fought regardless of the age of the terrorist. This is the time to urgently call for a change in the existing law binding in the Yehuda and Shomron regions, which grants immunity from penalization to terrorists who committed an act of murder before they reached the age of 14.”

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