“His choice to harm another person, a Jewish Israeli, as a way to bring about his death, is related to a religious ban on suicide and his desire to bring honor to his family as a ‘martyr,'” the judges wrote.
By World Israel News Staff
Right-wing politicians on Monday criticized the light sentence handed to a teenage Palestinian terrorist who tried to murder an Israeli woman, calling the four-year jail term a sign that the justice system in Israel is “bankrupt.”
The Central District Court on Sunday sentenced the then-15-year-old Palestinian who stabbed the woman while she waited at a bus stop at the Modi’in junction in September 2019, seriously wounding her in the neck and shoulder.
The terrorist had pleaded guilty to aggravated assault during an act of terrorism, but the judges wrote that along with the nationalist motive, the troubled youth was trying to die as a “martyr” so as not to bring shame to his family by simply committing suicide – sometimes referred to by Israeli authorities as “suicide by IDF.”
However, rather than shooting the attacker, IDF soldiers and police arrested him, although prosecutors subsequently charged him with aggravated assault and not attempted murder.
“A justice system that pities the cruel and is cruel to the merciful is a justice system that has gone bankrupt and been lost,” tweeted Knesset member Bezalel Smotrich, who heads the Religious Zionist party.
Knesset candidate Itamar Ben-Gvir of the far-right Otzma Yehudit party called the sentence “another shameful and detached decision that indicates the urgent need for a deep correction in the justice system.”
“A terrorist who tries to murder a Jew must at least rummage through prison all his life,” Ben-Gvir tweeted. The maximum penalty for aggravated is assault is 25 years in prison.
The defendant, whose name was not published because he is a minor, had “no criminal record, lacked a nationalist worldview and grew up in a normative family,” his lawyer Abed Abu Amar told Ynet, adding that the terrorist himself claimed that he had made a big mistake and would not repeat it, regretting his actions.
“His choice to harm another person, a Jewish Israeli, as a way to bring about his death, is related to a religious ban on suicide and his desire to bring honor to his family as a ‘martyr’ and to reach heaven after his death,” the judges wrote in their decision.
“In balancing the various considerations, we are of the opinion that in this case the defendant should be sentenced to actual imprisonment for a significant period, and in a manner that reflects the considerations of adequacy and deterrence, taking into account the defendant being a minor and all his personal circumstances.”