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Two terrorists convicted for Yoshvaev arson incident

Updated: Jan 9

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

Arson damage; Photo courtesy of the family

Sunday, January 8, 2023, 20:44 The Jerusalem District Court convicted two more terrorists, Muataz Haj Mahmud and Bilal Jabari, of the February 2022 Molotov cocktail arson attack on the Yoshvaev family's house in the Shimon HaTzadik neighborhood of Jerusalem. The indictment states that the terrorists, whose motives were racist and nationalistic, hurled Molotov cocktails at the house and also set fire to the Yoshvaev family's car several times. Two other terrorists, one adult and one minor, have already been convicted in the case.


Honenu Attorney Chayim Bleicher, who is representing the Yoshvaev family, welcomed the decision: "The terrorists carried out serious acts of terror against the Yoshvaev family. After a long legal battle, we arrived at the conviction of the terrorists today. We thank the Public Security Minister, Itamar Ben Gvir, who, as a member of Knesset, moved his office to the Shimon HaTzadik neighborhood and thus helped increase awareness of the many attacks on the Yoshvaev family. The court ruled that terrorists were motivated solely by antisemitism. We expect them to be penalized with long prison sentences."


After he left the courthouse, Tal Yoshvaev stated, "The terrorists tried time after time to injure us. They attacked us, set fire to our car several times [multiple cars were torched], and in the end, set fire to our house. The two terrorists admitted to the acts and were convicted of acts of terror and [other] serious crimes. Above all, I would like to thank Honenu Attorney Chayim Bleicher, who has assisted us during this time. We expect the court to impose stiff penalties on the terrorists."


Several terrorists hurled Molotov cocktails at the home of the Yoshvaev family in the Shimon HaTzadik neighborhood of Jerusalem in February 2022. The flames set fire to the home, and the fire was particularly strong in the children's bedroom. Fortunately, the family was not at home at the time. For this incident and other attacks on the family's house, Haj Mahmud and Jabari were indicted for arson, weapon production, carrying a weapon, racially and maliciously motivated damage, attempted arson as an act of terror, aggravated assault as an act of terror, and operating a weapon as an act of terror. Another terrorist convicted of similar crimes is awaiting a penalty hearing prior to sentencing. A minor who set fire to the Yoshvaevs' house was sentenced to two and a half years' imprisonment. A 7,000 NIS fine was also imposed on him, and he was required to pay Yoshvaev 7,000 NIS in compensation. The Jerusalem District Juvenile Court ruled that the minor's motive was racist but did not convict him of an act of terror. Another suspect in the case was convicted of aiding and abetting.


Since Operation Guardian of the Walls, the Yoshvaev family has suffered close to 20 acts of terror including fireworks shot from point-blank range at their sukka while Tal was sleeping in it, nine vehicular arson attacks, two Molotov cocktails thrown at their house, an array of fireworks launched at their yard, and many bottles of paint thrown at their car. For more details, see here and here. In February, the police closed off the home of the Yoshvaev family to guests and visitors, including workers who were needed to repair arson damage. The barriers were removed in March in light of a petition to the High Court of Justice.

Arson damage; Video courtesy of the family

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