Two suspects convicted in Eli Rozen assault case

Please click here for a list of posts relating to cases in which Honenu provided legal counsel to victims of antisemitic attacks in Jerusalem.

One of Rozen’s injuries; Photo credit: Free use

Tuesday, February 15, 2022, 11:04 On Monday, February 14, the Jerusalem District Court convicted Adnan Harbawi and Ibrahim Za'atri of rioting and of aggravated assault in an act of terror, in accordance with the counter-terror law. They were also convicted of willful sabotage of cars. Harbawi and Za'atri are two of the five suspects who have been indicted for brutally attacking Eli Rozen on April 23, 2021.

Rozen had finished prayers at the Tomb of Shimon HaTzadik and was walking to his home in the Shmuel HaNavi neighborhood when dozens of Arab rioters attacked him. They ran towards him, completely surrounded him, and then punched him, kicked him, beat him with wooden clubs, and threw large rocks at him. When Rozen attempted to escape, the rioters threw him to the ground and continued to beat him for a long time, while filming a video of the incident, which they posted on the TikTok social media platform. Jewish eyewitnesses called the police, and after they arrived, Rozen succeeded in extricating himself from his assailants. He was evacuated to the Hadassah Mt. Scopus Hospital, suffering from bruises, swelling, cuts, and three broken vertebrae. Rozen is still recovering from the attack.

Honenu Attorney Chayim Bleicher, who accompanied Rozen to the court hearings and assisted him with realizing his rights as a victim of terror, welcomed the conviction. Bleicher: "The court did well to convict the despicable terrorists who attempted to murder a Jew in the Shimon HaTzadik neighborhood. The current situation on the streets of Jerusalem creates an environment conducive to terror attacks in broad daylight, and this one could have ended completely differently were it not for the police car that arrived at the last moment. We will follow this case and demand that the Attorney General's office and the court hand down the maximum sentence to the terrorists so that incidents such as this are not repeated."

Five suspects were indicted for the attack, two of whom, both minors, were convicted by Judge Ilan Sela of charges similar to those of Harbawi and Za'atri. A hearing is expected to take place on Wednesday, February 17, at the Supreme Court on a request by an additional defendant in the case, Muhammad Khalaf, concerning a hearing with regard to his being held in remand until the end of proceedings. Bleicher and Rozen are expected to be present at the hearing and to demand that the terrorist remain in remand.

The trial opened on September 13, 2021.

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