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Will the bar mitzva hike assailant be released?

Thursday, November 15, 2018, 14:58 On Thursday, November 15, the Ofer Military Court of Appeals will rule on the appeal filed by the Military Advocate General’s office opposing the decision of the military court ordering the release of Ibrahim Wadi from remand. Wadi is one of the prominent detainees among the Arab assailants from the village of Qusra who ambushed and assaulted a group of youths hiking on a bar mitzva trip near the Jewish community of Migdalim. He was detained several days after the incident, an indictment was filed against him and he is being detained until the end of proceedings against him. Several days ago, following a request from Wadi’s attorney, a deliberation was held on the question of his remand. The military court ordered his release on bail. The Military Advocate General’s office opposes the release and filed an appeal on the decision, on both the release itself and on the sum of the bail. Honenu Attorney, Chayim Bleicher, who is representing the assaulted hikers, sent a letter to the military prosecutor in which he expressed the objection of the injured parties to the release on bail of Wadi. The ambush occurred on November 30, 2017, when a group of 22 boys and two adult chaperones set out on a bar mitzva hike between the Jewish communities of Migdalim and Kida. When the group neared the village of Qusra dozens of Arabs threw rocks at them and shouted “Itbah al Yahud” (slaughter the Jews). The armed chaperones of group guided the boys into a cave in order to protect them. One of the chaperones stayed in the cave with the boys and the other guarded them from the outside. The rioting Arabs approached the cave and threw rocks into it, ignoring the calls of the chaperone that there were children inside. The rioters entered the cave, grabbed the chaperone’s pistol, hurled rocks and small boulders at the boys, beat them with clubs and sprayed pepper spray into the cave. Threatening the group with the pistol, the rioters stole the boys’ backpacks, with all of their contents. One of the prominent rioters, who was identified as Ibrahim Wadi, entered the cave and assaulted the chaperone who was protecting the boys. The chaperone shielded his head with his arms from lethal blows. Honenu Attorney Chayim Bleicher, who is representing the assaulted hikers as crime victims, sent a letter to the military prosecutor judging the case in which he described the viewpoint of the victims. Bleicher wrote in his letter that Wadi was one of the leaders of the ambush and assault, the crime victims agreed to a compromise due to the difficulty of finding evidence and all of the rioters “joined together in silence and thus tampered with evidence.” Bleicher emphasized that Wadi was identified with complete certainty by the adult chaperone: “He [Wadi] stood out in his cruelty when the chaperone attempted to shield the boys with his body. The defendant started to beat him in the head. Only because the chaperone managed to protect himself with his arm was he saved from a lethal blow to his head. There are also video clips and photographs directly linking him [the defendant] to the incident and the cave.” Honenu Attorney Chaim Bleicher stated that, “There is no doubt that the release of the defendant from remand at this stage poses a danger and hampers the possibility of penalizing the defendant,” and described the feelings of the boys in light of the assault and the legal proceedings: “Release of the defendant constitutes a strong slap in the face to the boys and the injured chaperone. They see defendants, including those against whom there is strong evidence, released.” Bleicher concluded his letter with a demand: “We, the injured victims of crime, demand that the court return a sense of security and trust to our children.

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