Updated: Jan 26, 2022
Tuesday, October 26, 2021, 10:47 Ziad Awad murdered Police Commander Baruch Mizrahi, Hy”d, and injured others in an April 2014 terror attack. Mizrahi and his family were traveling on Route 35 to Kiryat Arba to celebrate the Passover Seder there. Awad opened fire, killing Mizrahi and injuring others. Today, at 13:30, a hearing will take place at the Ofer Military Court of Appeals on the appeal filed by Izz al-Din al-Qassam, who was convicted of abetting his father in carrying out the shooting attack.
The military court sentenced al-Qassam to 20 years’ imprisonment, and he later appealed for a lesser penalty. The Military Advocate General filed an appeal to increase his penalty to life imprisonment, emphasizing that al-Qassam was well aware of his father’s plan, because he actively abetted him and was “an important and central factor in the plan to carry out the attack… If it had not been for his assistance, the plan would not have been realized as it was.”
Hadas Mizrahi, Baruch’s widow, was also injured in the attack. After her husband collapsed while driving, she succeeded in taking control of the steering wheel, stabilizing the car and bringing it to a stop. She instructed their children to lie on the floor, and tried to calm them. Mizrahi received a Medal of Valor from the Israeli Police for her actions.
Prior to the hearing, Mizrahi explained that she intended to be present in court “so that the judges will look me in the eye and only then make their decision. For the abettor, a penalty of less than life imprisonment is a joke. … From the start I stated that they attempted to kill us [her and her children] and additional people. The abettor may not have been at the scene of the attack, but to the extent that he assisted with the preparations and scouted out the targets with his father, he was a completely active party. Only on the day of the attack he didn’t accompany his father.
“This terrorist injured my family and turned my life into a nightmare. We will never succeed in rehabilitating our lives. I will fight with all the means that I have so that the abettor will receive a life sentence, and I will see to it that he will not be released in a future plea bargain. True, it will not return the life that I had to me. I will never find solace, but I will not desist from this battle for justice.”
Honenu Attorney Chayim Bleicher, who is assisting the Mizrahi family as victims of terror: “In dealing with terrorists, there is no room for leniency. A terrorist who abetted the murder of Baruch Mizrahi, Hy”d, the injury and attempted murder of entire families on the eve of the Passover holiday, should receive the maximum penalty. This is an abettor who acted with his father, the murderer, who was released in the Shalit Deal, to plan and prepare for a lethal attack with many victims. The terrorist was an integral part of the act of terror and its outcome. He must not be allowed to see the light of day outside of prison walls.”