Tuesday, December 17, 2019, 16:03 On Tuesday, December 17, Ofer Military Court of Appeals Judge Lieutenant Colonel Yair Tirosh rejected the appeal filed by Abdallah Fouad Mustafa Mahmoud, one of the abettors of the Barkan terrorist. Mahmoud assisted the terrorist as he fled the authorities after murdering Kim Levengrond-Yehezkel, Hy”d, and Ziv Hajbi, Hy”d on October 7, 2018.
Judge Tirosh added that there was cause to stiffen the penalty of the 20-month active prison term, the stringency of which Mahmoud appealed: “The penalty handed down… in my opinion gives too much weight to considerations of leniency. … If it were not for the provisions of law of criminal legal procedures there would be grounds to consider increasing the penalty of the appellant.” Judge Tirosh also quoted former President of the Military Court of Appeals, Colonel Shaul Gordon: “Whoever chooses to abet wanted persons fleeing from IDF forces at the time that they are combating terror deserves a particularly stringent penalty.”
Honenu Attorney Chayim Bleicher, who is assisting the families of the victims welcomed the decision: “The judge ruled that the abettor who received 20 months imprisonment received a lenient penalty and there are no grounds to accept his appeal on the stringency of the penalty, but rather the opposite: It would have been proper to increase the penalty, and if it had been within his capabilities he would have done so.”
Bleicher turned to the other courts: “This is a call for the prosecutors and the office of the Attorney General to change direction. The time has come to increase the penalties of abettors to terrorists. The only way to combat terror is to increase the stringency of penalties. Every terrorist and every abettor must know that if he has a hand in terror then he will spend many years in prison and lose his freedom. We hope that the judicial system will pay attention to this ruling, and that we will see an increase in the penalties of other abettors, past and future. They must know that they will not get off lightly.”
Rafi Levengrond (L) and Guy Yehezkel, Kim’s husband; Video credit: Honenu
Rafi Levengrond, Kim’s father, expressed hope that the judge’s decision would influence future decisions in similar situations: “In our opinion the penalty is too lenient. The judge also agrees that the penalty is lenient and that the Shomron Military Court did not rule on a penalty suitable for the actions. We hope that those who need to come to conclusions based on the judge’s statements will take them seriously, and that if the Shomron Military Court errs again and hands down a lenient penalty to an abettor or to a murderer or to the family of a terrorist, that they will not be afraid to appeal, because the judge ruled that the penalty was lenient in relation to the severity of the actions of the abettors and the family [of the terrorist].”