The injured youth; Photo credit: Courtesy of the family
Monday, March 23, 2020, 8:35 The Military Court ordered the release of Salah Khamus, who had been detained on suspicion of seriously injuring a 14-year Yitzhar resident in Hawara on the Purim holiday. Khamus is suspected of throwing a cinder block at his head from very close range, causing a cranial fracture and internal bleeding. The youth was initially on a ventilator and in a medically induced coma at the Sneider Children’s Hospital where he underwent a life-saving cranial operation. The youth’s family was shocked by the announcement and Honenu Attorney Chayim Bleicher, who is assisting the family with realizing their rights as victims of terror censured the release: “The terrorist took a cinder block and threw it at the youth’s head from extremely close range while the youth was sitting in a car. Even if according to the testimony for the terrorist’s defense there was a scuffle before the attack and even if the court is of the opinion that the youth’s head was smashed with a cinder block after the scuffle, there are no grounds to justify such a brutal act, especially since the youth and the other passengers were in the car and ready to leave the site. “This is a Palestinian terrorist whose release will allow him to escape justice. We ask the Military Advocate General to file an indictment as soon as possible and to detain the terrorist until the end of proceedings, before he either disappears or carries out additional attacks.” Akiva, the father of the injured youth, leveled sharp criticism at the police: “What happened here is unbelievable. The police handling of the case is rife with errors and negligence. Immediately after the attack the IDF forces released the terrorists at the scene, and then they did not gather evidence from security cameras at the site. Also the police did not bother to take a complaint from us and an investigator came to the hospital only after we pressured them. Now they have released the terrorist [who threw the cinder block]. They tried to murder my son by throwing a cinder block at his head from a meter away and now the terrorist has returned home. This is a disgrace.” Over the past few days, social media groups have posted photographs of the bakery owned by Khamus, the suspect in the Hawara terror attack, and a call for the IDF to order the closure of the bakery. On March 12, the 15-year-old brother of the seriously injured youth arrived at the Ariel Police Station, at their request, to file a complaint and give testimony about the attack in Hawara. He was shocked to find himself interrogated under warning as a suspect. See here for details.