Grieving father demands death for terrorist who killed son

“I came to court today to ask for the harshest possible sentence for the convicted terrorist, a death sentence,” the father said.

By Lauren Marcus, World Israel News

A grieving father whose son was murdered in a drive-by shooting which left two others seriously wounded told an Israeli court on Monday that death is the only appropriate punishment for his child’s killer.

At the sentencing hearing for Muntasir Shalabi, a Palestinian-American terrorist who shot three yeshiva boys waiting for a bus at the Tapuach Junction, Elisha Guetta demanded that the Ofer Military Court hand down the ultimate punishment.

“I came to court today to ask for the harshest possible sentence for the convicted terrorist, a death sentence,” Guetta said, Hebrew language media reported.

“Because that’s what [Shalabi] deserves, he murdered [my son] in cold blood. The next murder must be prevented. That’s the only way to stop it.”

Guetta said his son, Yehuda, was a talented and smart student with “lofty goals and significant achievements.”

His family is struggling to recover from the shock of losing their beloved 19-year-old son, Guetta said.

“In recent months we have been trying to come to terms with it and it’s just hard, it’s a feeling like a limb has been amputated from the body. We try to keep living for the other kids. Life is defined by the moment before the attack and the moment after.”

Ofer Peretz, whose son Benaya was left permanently paralyzed from the shooting, tearfully told the court about how the terror attack had changed his family’s lives.

“I have not left his bedside since the attack,” Peretz said. “He needs round-the-clock care and the doctors say his situation will not improve…his body is deteriorating. Every day is a war.

“It is not easy to see your son who was independent, who had big dreams and goals in life, who contributed to society, wanted to conquer the world, enlist in the IDF and start a family, in bed, helpless. We are fighting to stay sane.”

While Israel technically has the death penalty as a sentence for capital crimes, including murder, the Jewish State does not use it.

The last person executed in Israel was Adolf Eichmann, an architect of the Holocaust, in 1962.

In July 2021, the IDF demolished the Shalabi family home in the village of Turmus Ayya.

While the IDF regularly demolishes, or partially demolishes, the homes of Palestinian terrorists who have murdered Israeli citizens, Shalabi’s case drew international attention because of his status as a U.S. citizen.

Shalabi immigrated to the U.S. several decades ago, settling in California. He and his family are citizens, and all of his children are American-born.