Arch-terrorist not granted parole

Thursday, October 6, 2022, 15:15On the morning of Thursday, October 6, the Prison Service parole board held a hearing at the Ramle Magistrates Court on the request by the terrorist Nasser Naji Abu-Hamid to shorten his sentence. Abu-Hamid murdered Rabbi Binyamin and Talia Kahane, Hy”d, near Ofra in 2000 and Gadi Rejwan, Hy”d, in the Atarot Industrial Zone in 2002. The terrorist was also involved in other murders and called the “killing machine”. Due to a terminal illness, the terrorist requested parole despite having been sentenced to 7 life terms plus 50 years’ imprisonment. The parole board determined that they do not have the authority to rule on the release of the terrorist, and if they had the authority, in light of the severity of his acts, they would not order his release.Representatives of the Kahane and Rejwan families testified at the hearing and protested its very existence: “There are no grounds for such a hearing, which takes us back to the days of mourning.”

Honenu Attorneys Ophir Steiner and Chayim Bleicher represented the families at the Ramle Magistrates Court. The families turned to Honenu for assistance after they happened to discover that the parole board intended to hold a hearing on the request by Abu-Hamid for a reduction in his sentence. The date set for the hearing was a surprise for the Kahane and Rejwan families, who found out about it only several days before it was scheduled to take place. Following intervention by Honenu, the hearing was postponed until today.

In the decision to postpone the hearing, it was determined that the office of the State Attorney would locate the other victims or their families, and they worked day and night to locate them. Representatives of the State Attorney also accompanied some of them to the hearing and they strongly asserted that the parole board did not have the authority to release Abu-Hamid, and in any event, his release must not be considered.In the end, the position of the office of the State Attorney and the victims was accepted in the decision by the parole board. This decision will have ramifications for similar cases of terrorists who request parole on humanitarian grounds.

Prior to the hearing, the families of the victims submitted a position paper with the assistance of Honenu Attorneys Ophir Steiner and Chayim Bleicher to the parole board demanding that the terrorist’s sentence not be reduced. Representatives of the families attached personal letters to the position paper describing their hardships and the pain that they felt when they heard about the hearing.

One of the Kahane children wrote, “We, six children aged two months to 14 years, were left orphaned, without our father and mother. This horrific trauma has been neither forgotten nor blotted out. In a world in which justice, truth, and ethics take precedence, there is no justification for going beyond the letter of the law for a terrorist. To this day, I carry with me the trauma, the loneliness, the deep pain, and the feeling of detachment.”

Another daughter added, “As a young girl, I always felt different because everyone had parents and I didn’t. I used to dream that Mom and Dad had come back to us. I was waiting for a miracle. Childhood experiences were lost in one moment of human maliciousness. The fears and anxiety that followed the trauma are a challenge. It’s as if my soul isn’t capable of handling anything more. It’s all too much for me. And as a mother, the acuteness only increases. I constantly bear the consequences of the attack, incessantly. The thought that there could be any mercy for the despicable terrorist who destroyed my life angers and frustrates me to an indescribable extent. The injustice cries out! This is a knife to the heart, this time from the State of Israel. Do not say ‘our hands did not spill this blood’.”

Another family member described the effects of the attack: “Some of the family experienced the attack in an extreme and difficult manner. They were thrown into serious emotional problems, anxiety, and dysfunction. During all these years they have undergone very serious processes. They do not lead normative lives. The release of [Nasser Naji Abu-Hamid] will cause them deep upheaval and shock.”

Honenu Attorneys Steiner and Bleicher wrote, “In conclusion, our clients’ position is that the terrorist who was convicted of murdering many Jews, and other crimes relating to terror, must not be released. This terrorist who devoted his entire life, all of his energy, at every waking moment to planning the murder of Jews, must end his life behind bars.”

Due to the severity of the attacks in which the terrorist was involved, Honenu and the families hoped that their opinion would influence the parole board and the judges to refuse to grant the terrorist parole. And their hopes were realized.

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