Updated: Jul 25
Please click here for a list of posts relating to cases in which Honenu provided legal counsel to victims of antisemitic attacks in Jerusalem and here for a list of posts relating to the May 2021 Arab rioting throughout Israel.
Sunday, July 24, 2022, 18:30 The Jerusalem District Court handed down lenient sentences of five and seven years' imprisonment to two of the terrorists, Nawaf Abu al-Hawe and Rami Salah al-Din, who attacked Avia and Shahar Anteman, then a newly-engaged couple, near Beit Orot in May 2021. The court also imposed suspended sentences and payment of 20,000 NIS to the victims on each of the terrorists.
Al-Hawe and Salah al-Din were convicted of aggravated assault in an act of terror, rioting, racially motivated malicious vehicular vandalism, and other charges. They were also convicted of attacks during the months preceding the attack on the Antemans, including arson, throwing Molotov cocktails, and assaulting security forces. Two additional adults and one minor have been convicted in the Anteman case. The minor is awaiting sentencing.
Honenu Attorney Chayim Bleicher, who is representing the Antemans: "The indictments indicate a profile of serial terrorists who do not refrain from any means to injure, from assaulting security forces to the brutal attack near Beit Orot in which they were central figures. The repeated lenient treatment by the court of terrorists is regretful. The court takes into account the personal considerations of the terrorists, and it seems that they forget the main consideration that must be kept before them: weighing the right of Israeli citizens to live safely against the rights of the terrorists who join forces with the enemy to threaten the very existence of the State of Israel.
"It would be sad to see the terrorists receiving an opportunity to continue their acts in a few years. Penalization that is so considerate to terrorists damages the deterrence factor. We demand that the office of the State Attorney appeal the sentence and demand much stiffer prison sentences," concluded Bleicher.
The indictment states that the rioting terrorists saw that the passengers in the car were Jews, threw rocks at them, and one of them shattered the rear windshield. Al-Hawe and Salah al-Din attacked Avia, kicking him for several minutes. The rioters shattered the car's front windshield and one of them stabbed Avia with a sharp object.
In her decision, Judge Hagit Mak-Kalmanovitch wrote that "the injury to the complainants was severe. The attack on the car and then the attack on the complainant (Avia) was done using severe violence that was liable to deteriorate to loss of life. … The incident stopped when the complainant escaped, and if he had not, the outcome was liable to have been even worse."
In the stabbing attack, Avia, a young Jewish man, was injured shortly after he proposed to Shahar in Beit HaHoshen overlooking the Temple Mount, on the night of Sunday, May 9. The couple announced their engagement to family and friends and then headed towards Beit Orot. On the way, their car was blocked by other cars, and at the A Tor Intersection dozens of Arab rioters threw rocks at them. Shahar escaped from their car, hid behind another car, and called the police. A police car went to the site where Shahar had left the couple's car, and she left her hiding place to go to it. The couple met up again in Beit Orot. Avia was evacuated, injured and bleeding, to Sha’arei Tzedek Hospital. He suffered a head injury, stab wounds to his back, and a punctured lung. Due to prolonged hospitalization and outpatient treatments, the couple postponed their engagement party.
The Anteman couple testified at a penalty hearing on May 10. Avia focused on the difficulties that the couple has endured since the attack: "As long as we do not know whether or not the defendants [the attackers] have been brought to justice, it is difficult for us to walk around Jerusalem. We will not relax until they are penalized. We expect the court to hand down a stiff penalty to those guilty of injuring me."
Shahar described how their joyous day turned into trauma: "This was our engagement, an event for which we waited and about which we had dreamed our entire lives. This event, instead of being forever remembered as the happiest event of our lives, will be remembered as a traumatic event." She also explained how they carry the effects with them to this day: "Things which we hadn't experienced before the incident, we experience now, fear and a threatening feeling. Therefore our demand is that the guilty parties in this case receive the maximum penalties. Some of the attackers have not yet been detained. We also demand that they and others like them be deterred [from attacking again], that they understand that it's not worth it. We would appreciate it if the court could consider what we experienced and penalize them to the full extent of the law."