Hundreds rally in support of trio suspected of murdering Oct. 7 terrorist

‘Israel owes you a medal,’ Knesset member Ariel Kallner (Likud) said at the protest.

By Akiva Van Koningsveld, JNS

At least 300 people gathered outside the state attorney’s office in central Tel Aviv on Thursday night to protest the decision to probe three civilians on suspicion of murdering a Palestinian terrorist who infiltrated the Jewish state during the Hamas-led Oct. 7 massacre.

The rally, organized by activists under the slogan “Don’t touch our fighters,” was attended by lawmakers as well as Sa’ar Ofir, one of the suspects being prosecuted by State Attorney Amit Aisman.

Videos posted to social media showed Ofir being greeted with applause and hoisted on the shoulders by people shouting, “Hero, hero.”

“We’re fighting for justice. It’s a war of light against darkness, of terrorists against warriors. It has nothing to do with right or left. There’s no such thing as murdering a Nukhba terrorist—there’s only eliminating terrorists,” the suspect told Israel’s Kan News public broadcaster.

“Israel owes you a medal,” Knesset member Ariel Kallner (Likud) said at the protest.

“The prosecutor’s office and the legal system are infected with an auto-immune disease: They persecute heroic soldiers but worry about the legal representation of the Nukhba terrorists, their menus and family reunifications that will abolish the Jewish state.”

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Itzik Bunzel, whose son Sgt. Amit Buntzel was killed in action in central Gaza on Dec. 6, told attendees, “We raised our children to protect the people of Israel. Our children paid a price and are no longer here with us—we will not let a handful of lunatics burn down our country.

“The heroic soldiers also protected the family of Aisman and the other attorneys. We raised our children to protect the people of Israel, whether in Tel Aviv, Haifa, or another place,” added the bereaved father, Ynet reported.

Earlier on Wednesday, activists of the Im Tirtzu movement protested outside Aisman’s home, shouting slogans accusing the head of the prosecution of “harming the morale of the fighters” by ordering the criminal probe.

The criminal case against Ofir and the two other civilians had been under investigation by the police for several months but did not become public until last week, when the Tel Aviv District Court eased a gag order and ordered Ofir and a second suspect released to house arrest.

Police sources told reporters this week that it’s likely that at least one of the suspects will ultimately be charged only with looting, at most.

According to the police, the three—who met up after arriving in Israel’s south to fight on the morning of Oct. 7— detained a member of Hamas’s elite Nukhba Force and executed him at the end of an interrogation.

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Haaretz last week cited sources familiar with the details of the case as saying that the body of the armed Palestinian terrorist was discovered in the Sha’ar HaNegev region, near northeastern Gaza.

Defense lawyers said the suspects deny all charges, emphasizing that their clients risked their lives to save civilians and are being prosecuted for killing a Hamas terrorist who took part in massacring innocents.

The three also received broad political backing, with Benny Gantz, head of the opposition National Unity Party, saying on Sunday that “anyone who dared to cross the border [from Gaza] that day was sentenced to death. All of them posed a clear and immediate danger.”

Some 3,000 terrorists, from Hamas, Islamic Jihad, Fatah and unaffiliated “civilians,” infiltrated the Jewish state on Oct. 7. The security forces killed approximately a thousand of the terrorists and captured many others.