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Resentencing in Zemora terror case, prison term lengthened

Nirit Zemora; Photo credit: Honenu

Nirit Zemora; Photo credit: Honenu

Wednesday, February 26, 2020, 9:54 Case summary: Hamza Faiz stabbed and seriously injured Nirit Zemora in a terror attack at the Etzion Bloc Intersection parking lot on October 28, 2015. In April 2018, the Military Court in Yehuda exonerated the terrorist of attempted murder and convicted him only of aggravated assault, because he had stabbed the victim in the back “only” once, because the knife broke during the stabbing, and according to the judges it was not possible to prove beyond a doubt that the terrorist had intended to murder Nirit Zemora. The court ruling raised a considerable outcry and the Military Advocate General immediately announced their intent to file an appeal on the verdict. On July 16, 2018, the Ofer Military Court handed down a 14-year prison sentence and also awarded 500,000 NIS in compensation to Zemora for aggravated assault. On October 7, 2019, the Ofer Military Court of Appeals under the auspices of Judge Colonel Netanel Benisho, the President of the Military Court of Appeals, accepted the appeal filed by the Military Advocate General and convicted Hamza Faiz of attempted murder. The Appellate Court returned the case to the Military Court in Yehuda for resentencing Hamza Faiz. On Wednesday, February 26, the Yehuda Military Court at the Ofer Military Base sentenced the terrorist who stabbed Nirit Zemora to 18 years’ imprisonment, in addition to 500,000 NIS in compensation, in accordance with his conviction of attempted murder. The Military Advocate General appealed the original verdict and the Military Court of Appeals convicted the terrorist of attempted murder. Today the court handed down a sentence including an active prison term and compensation to be paid to the victim according to the reckoning of the damages submitted by Honenu Attorney Chayim Bleicher, who is representing Zemora as a victim of terror. Nirit Zemora, members of her family and Honenu Attorney Chayim Bleicher were present at the deliberation. Bleicher: “A sentence of 18 years is the minimum customary today for attempted murder. Today, now that the Counter-terrorism Law has entered into force, the penalty stands at over 20 years. Together with the disappointment over the penalty that was handed down, we welcome the rectification that was made in that four years were added to the terrorist’s prison sentence. We will continue to act together with victims of terror for more stringent penalties for terrorists and murderers so that the deterrence factor will be increased and there will be no recidivism among terrorists.” Honenu Attorney Chayim Bleicher: “This is the result of a long process we have undergone since the appeal on the previous sentence. We are pleased that four years have been added to the terrorist’s prison sentence. That is four years during which the citizens of Israel will be more secure. However the penalty is light in relation to the severity of the crime and we expected more. In the end we are pleased that there has been a rectification. We hope that in the next cases we will be able to bring about penalties such as this, so that even if terrorists are released [the deterrence factor will be such that] they will not return to terror.” Nirit Zemora described her impressions: “To the best of my understanding, he could have been sentenced to more, but I feel that a significant step has been made. I would like to thank Honenu and Attorney Chayim Bleicher, who has assisted me, and G-d willing we will no longer need such things.”

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