Defense attorney: Terrorism only suicide option for depressed Muslims

A Palestinian terrorist’s attorney claimed her client’s sentence should be lightened because dying as a “shahid” [martyr] is the only way a depressed Muslim can commit suicide.

By: World Israel News Staff

Defense Attorney Lea Tsemel claimed before the Supreme Court on Monday that her client’s attempt to kill an IDF soldier should be excused because terrorism is the only way a depressed Muslim can commit suicide.

The story was first published by Hakol Hayehudi (The Jewish Voice), an Israeli news site.

In an appeal case heard by the court, Tsemel explained that Amar Jandav, a Palestinian from Salfit, a village near the Samarian town of Ariel, became depressed after the death of a close friend.

Jandav decided to commit suicide. However, being a devout Muslim, he could not do so, as Islam prohibits suicide. Dying as a “shahid,” or religious martyr, while carrying out a terrorist attack, on the other hand, was Jandav’s only option, Tsemel said.

Tsemel, who regularly represents Palestinian terrorists, said this factor should be seen by the judges as an extenuating circumstance for the terrorist’s action.

The Supreme Court judges rejected her argument.

Two years ago, Jandav, who worked at a construction site near Tel Aviv, used a screwdriver to stab an IDF soldier. The assailant originally received a 12-year sentence, but the state prosecutor appealed to the Supreme Court to add two years to the sentence.

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The Supreme Court accepted the state prosecutor’s claims and lengthened the prison sentence, hinting that it could have been lengthened even more if not for limits placed on adding punishment in appeal cases.