Israeli court: ‘Grieving’ father of slain terrorist needs sympathy

Judge declines to keep father of slain terrorist, who repeatedly praised son’s actions, behind bars due to his status as a grieving parent.

By World Israel News Staff

The father of a Palestinian terrorist who murdered five people in a deadly attack in Bnei Brak was released by an Israeli military court on Sunday morning, despite repeatedly praising his son’s actions and calling upon others to emulate him.

Ahmad Hamarsheh, the father of Diaa Hamarseh, who killed two Ukrainian nationals and three Israelis, including a police officer of Arab descent, quickly capitalized on his son’s notoriety following the March 2022 terrorist attack.

Despite reports that Hamarsheh had largely been absent from his son’s life in recent years, he swiftly positioned himself as the father of a “heroic martyr,” leading rallies through the streets of their hometown, Jenin, and making speeches urging additional attacks.

He also created videos praising the terrorist who gunned down three people in a Tel Aviv bar in April 2022, in clips that went viral on Palestinian social media.

Hamarsheh was arrested and indicted by an Israeli military court in late June on charges of incitement and support for terror groups.

Prosecutors requested that Hamarsheh be held until the end of the trial, as his repeated calls for violence and support for terror pose a risk to the public.

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But according to an Arutz Sheva report, an Israeli military judge refused the request, stating that while Hamarsheh’s actions were viral, he needed to be given some degree of sympathy due to the fact that his son was killed.

The younger Hamarsheh died during a shoot-out with Israeli police, which ended his killing spree.

“The actions of the defendant’s son were despicable, but from an emotional point of view, it is difficult to judge the conduct of a person who lost his son,” the judge wrote in an explanation for ruling to release Hamarsheh to house arrest.

“His son’s death is a catalyst that can cause an immediate burst of emotions, feelings, statements and even actions,” Arutz Sheva quoted the ruling as saying.

In a press statement, the Israeli military said that its prosecutorial department would appeal the decision to release Hamarsheh.

The Hamarsheh family home was demolished by the IDF in June 2022. During the demolition, two Palestinians were killed during a firefight with Israeli troops.