Terrorist convicted of attempted murder
Monday, July 15, 2019, 13:50 During the week of Sunday, July 7, the military court in Yehuda convicted Udi A’ataf Mohamed Ta’amara, the terrorist who stabbed Shahar (35) in Gush Etzion approximately two years ago, of attempted intent to cause death and possessing a knife. Honenu Attorney Chayim Bleicher stated that, “There is no place for mercy towards terrorists who come to murder Jews.” The attack occurred near the Gush Etzion Junction. Shahar was walking towards Alon Shevut when he encountered Ta’amara, who exited a taxi at the intersection between the main highway and the entrance road to Efrat. Ta’amara also walked towards Alon Shevut. At the entrance to the Gush Etzion Winery, Ta’amara attacked Shahar with a knife. Shahar defended himself with his pistol and after a struggle, during which Ta’amara stabbed him in the back, succeeded in holding Ta’amara until the security forces arrived. At the verdict Ta’amara admitted that his intent had been “to encounter a settler and injure him in the arm,” and stated that, “I wanted to get to Hevron and I acted without thinking. I couldn’t control myself. It was during Ramadan. I was fasting. I was stressed out. Yes, I left my home with the intent of injuring someone in the arm. An injury, not to kill. A wound.” To the question, “During your interrogation at the police [station] you in fact said that you left your home and took a knife because you wanted to carry out a stabbing attack, right?” Ta’amara responded, “Right. But I didn’t have the intent to kill.” Ta’amara was asked what led him to carry out the attack and he replied, “Because of the news. Every time someone is killed for no reason. People here in the Palestinian Authority, I am referring to Palestinians.” After a series of questions Ta’amara’s defense attorney announced that he would like to stop the testifying because, “After consideration, my client is going to admit to the charges in the bill of indictment as it is now and as it was read to him at the opening of the deliberation.” Ta’amara himself said: “I would like to change my mind about the denial. I admit to the charges in the bill of indictment.” The bill of indictment included the charge of attempt to intentionally cause death and so the admission was to attempted murder. Additionally, in the bill of indictment the attack was described: “The defendant continued to approach the complainant. When he was about 15 meters away from the complainant the latter noticed a suspicious bulge in the defendant’s right hip and discerned a suspicious hand movement. The defendant, who was armed with a knife whose blade was approximately 18 centimeters long, continued to quickly approach the complainant. Then the defendant pulled out the knife and started to run towards the complainant.” Shahar attempted to defend himself: “The complainant drew his pistol with which he was armed in order to defend himself from the defendant, but did not succeed in cocking it. The defendant reached the complainant and started to attack him wildly. The pistol fell from his hand. During the struggle the defendant stabbed the complainant in his left shoulder blade.” The bill of indictment continued: “The defendant released his hold of the complainant, rolled on the ground and ceased struggling. The complainant grabbed his pistol, cocked it and held the defendant at the site until the security forces arrived.” Shahar’s injuries were summarized: “As a result of the defendant’s acts, a stab wound to his back, a bruise close to his left eye, a deep cut to his nose, and deep abrasions to additional parts of his body were caused to the complainant. In doing the above mentioned acts the defendant attempted to intentionally cause Shahar’s death.” Furthermore, the terrorist was charged with illegal possession of a knife. Last week the terrorist admitted to the charges in the bill of indictment and convicted of the charges against him. Honenu Attorney Chayim Bleicher, who is representing Shahar, stated that, “We, as representatives of crime victims, are prepared for the penalty phase. We stress that there is no room for mercy or leniency towards terrorists who come to kill Jews. We will demand the maximum penalty and also submit a reckoning of the damage and demand that the terrorist be obligated to pay the entire sum.” In response to the conviction Shahar said, “I have happy that this story has finally ended with conviction. Unfortunately, despite the fact that there were all of the evidence and all of the proofs, including video footage, of the murder attempt, and despite the fact that the terrorist was on his way to carry out a slaughter in Alon Shevut – “The terrorist wanted to do Fogel 2,” [Five members of the Fogel family, Hy”d, were murdered in Itamar on March 11, 2011.] as the police investigator from the Etzion Station said – it took two years to reach a conviction, despite the fact that there is no doubt about his intent, his actions and the proofs.” Shahar further described the penalty imposed on the terrorist: “The terrorist confessed in the end, thank G-d. By admitting to attempted murder he saved us from the insane plea bargain that came up for discussion. It needs to be known that in the military court, the maximum penalty for attempted murder is life imprisonment, and the time has come to severely penalize terrorists. This practice of attempting murder and after not succeeding claiming, ‘I didn’t intend to murder, I just…’ must be stopped by the prosecution. I expect the maximum penalty set by law for the despicable terrorist who came to carry out a slaughter. “This is the place to thank G-d for saving me from the terrorist, and to remember Ari Fuld, Hy”d, who was murdered 200 meters from the site of the attack [in which Shahar was injured]. Ari was my karate and krav maga instructor when I was a youth and thanks to what I learned from him I acted correctly during the physical struggle with the terrorist,” concluded Shahar.