Sha'ar Yafo car-ramming terrorists sentenced
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Tuesday, September 13, 2022, 11:17 Today (Tuesday), the Jerusalem District Court sentenced two terrorists who carried out a car-ramming attack near Sha'ar Yafo (Jaffa Gate) in Jerusalem more than three years ago to 11 and 16 years' imprisonment. The terrorists had tried to stab one of the victims but failed. When the sentences were read, the family of one of the terrorists, who lives in East Jerusalem, caused a disturbance and tried to attack the victims.
Honenu Attorney Chayim Bleicher: "We are shocked by the sentences. These are terrorists who carried out a car-ramming/stabbing attack. The failures of the investigation are not supposed to benefit the terrorists. Why were such lenient penalties handed down and not sentences close to 25 years' imprisonment, as the law indicates for this type of terror? We will demand that the office of the State Attorney appeal the sentencing to the Supreme Court. We are of the opinion that the lenient sentencing damages the deterrence factor against terrorism and will aid terrorists in avoiding appropriate penalties."
Concerning the above-mentioned disturbance, Bleicher added, "At the reading of the sentences, the family of one of the terrorists caused a disturbance and called out slurs at the judges. Afterward, one of the family members, who is employed by an Israeli public bus company, vulgarly cursed the victims. We learn from this that it is not enough to penalize the terrorists for their acts, but rather the time has come to also deter their families and deport them from Israel. We will ask the office of the State Attorney to appeal and demand more stringent penalties for the terrorists who carried out the attack."
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.