Appeal accepted in Beit Orot attack case

Please click here for a list of posts relating to cases in which Honenu provided legal counsel to victims of antisemitic attacks in Jerusalem and here for a list of posts relating to the May 2021 Arab rioting throughout Israel.

Tuesday, November 29, 2022, 7:20 Terrorists brutally attacked Avia and Shahar Anteman immediately after their engagement in May 2021, during Operation Guardian of the Walls. Two of the terrorists, Rami Salah al-Din and Nawaf Abu al-Hawe, were convicted of aggravated assault in an act of terror, rioting, racially motivated malicious vehicular vandalism, and other charges. They were also convicted of attacks during the months preceding the attack on the Antemans, including arson, throwing Molotov cocktails, and assaulting security forces. Despite the serious charges, the Jerusalem District Court handed down lenient sentences of five and seven years’ imprisonment. The office of the State Attorney appealed to the Supreme Court, and yesterday (Monday), the appeal was accepted. The Supreme Court added one year to Salah al-Din’s sentence and two years to Abu al-Hawe’s sentence.

Regarding the acts, Justice Solberg wrote in the verdict, “There is no need to go into detail about the great severity observed in the criminal acts of Nawaf and Rami. First and foremost, this was a brutal, violent, despicable attack and if the couple had not succeeded in escaping the perpetrators, who knows how it would have ended.”

Justice Solberg further wrote, “It seems that in the matter at hand, much consideration should be given to the great damage that Nawaf and Rami caused with their acts, which were detailed in the first indictment, to the young couple who had not done any harm to any of the inflamed mob who chose to brutally attack them. The evidence before us indicates that in addition to the serious physical injury caused to Avia, which he still bears today, the couple was caused deep emotional damage: Their day of joy was a step away from a tragedy, and they were forced to experience an extremely traumatic and difficult incident.”

Furthermore, “In light of all of the above and after I set before me the basic rule according to which the appellate court has not reached penalization to the full extent of the law… I am of the opinion that two years’ imprisonment should be added to Nawaf’s sentence and one year to Rami’s sentence. Therefore, I will recommend to my colleagues that they accept the appeal from the State. Thus we will set the total prison term of Nawaf at nine years’ active imprisonment and the total prison term of Rami at six years’ active imprisonment. All other components of the sentence will be left standing,” ruled Justice Solberg in the verdict; Justices Elron and Grosskopf were the other two justices in the panel.

Honenu Attorney Chayim Bleicher, who is representing the couple, welcomed the decision: “We welcome the acceptance of the appeal and the statement by the Supreme Court concerning the need for stiffening penalties for terrorists. In any event and as is written in the verdict, the penalty that the terrorists received, in the end, does not constitute penalization to the full extent of the law. We expect the Jerusalem District Court to change its lenient approach and to impose significant penalties on terrorists who are judged there. The terrorist who brutally attacked the couple and also attacked security forces with lethal weapons on several occasions should receive prison terms in the double digits for their acts. Because if not, how we will deter these terrorists or others and prevent them from repeating acts of terror?”

The verdict describes the brutal attack on the couple: “On the date of 9/5/2021, Shahar Miriam Cohen and Avia Anteman, a Jewish couple who had that day become engaged, drove in their car from Beit HaHoshen (a building in the A-Tor neighborhood of East Jerusalem, in which Jewish families reside) to the Beit Orot neighborhood (also located in East Jerusalem). During their drive, close to 2:00, when the couple reached A-Tor intersection a rioting mob identified the passengers of the car as Jews. Following this, the mob began to run after the car shouting, ‘Settler, settler,’ and calling out curses and profanities.

“When the travelers in the cars driving in front of the couple’s car realized what was happening, they chose to block the path of the couple and join the rioting mob. And thus, when the couple was sitting in their car and could not drive away from the site, the mob began to throw rocks at the car. At this point, Rami arrived on the scene and beat on the car window with his hand until it broke. Avia, in an attempt to defend himself, got out of the car. However, then the rioters started to attack. Avia was attacked and beaten all over his body, including his head. He was punched and kicked. Rocks and other objects were thrown at him. One of the rioters, who has not yet been identified, stabbed Avia in the back, again and again, with a sharp object and caused two stab wounds. Also Nawaf chose to actively participate in the criminal act and hit Avia with a police barrier that was standing nearby. Simultaneously Rami kicked Avia, as he was sprawled on the ground, surrounded and attacked by an inflamed mob.”

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