Barkan terror attack abettor sentenced

Rafi Levengrond (L), Guy Yehezkel (R); Photo credit: Honenu

Wednesday, April 21, 2021, 20:56 On Wednesday, April 21, the Shomron Military Court sentenced Muhamed Ibrahim Kharsa to four years’ imprisonment for failure to prevent Ashraf Na’alwa from carrying out the October 2018 Barkan terror attack in which Kim Levengrond-Yehezkel, Hy”d, and Ziv Hajbi, Hy”d, were murdered, although he knew of his intentions.
Kharsa was convicted of failure to prevent a crime and according to the bill of indictment, he admitted in a plea bargain that he had known approximately two weeks beforehand of Na’alwa’s intent to carry out the attack with a “Carlo” submachine gun at his place of work in the Barkan Industrial Park, and of the seriousness of his intent. Likewise, after the attack Kharsa assisted the terrorist in his escape.
In a precedential decision, the Shomron Military Court accepted the opposition of the bereaved families and stiffened the penalty of the terrorist beyond the penalty set in the plea bargain which was signed between the terrorist and the Military Advocate General, in which the agreed penalty was only three years’ imprisonment. Honenu Attorney Chayim Bleicher assisted the family with their opposition to the plea bargain.
Rafi Levengrond, Kim’s father, was present in court and said afterwards, “We were at a deliberation [in the trial of] one of the principal abettors to the murder of Kim and Ziv in the Barkan attack. I asked the judge, who agreed to hear what I had to say, even now, even though I knew that the ruling was signed and sealed. And I expressed my opinion about what is happening now in the State, in Jerusalem, in Yaffo and everywhere, in all of the Israeli-Arab villages, with all of the violence and the weapons. And I asked the court to be stringent with the penalty, because it might deter [potential terrorists].
“An important part of the deterrence factor is the court. The power is with them. It’s true that we as Jews need to protect ourselves and to fight back, ‘When someone comes to kill you, kill him first’ [Sanhedrin 72a], but nevertheless, the power is with the courts, especially with the military courts, and it is important that they hear our opinion. If they want to keep everything quiet and we want our grandchildren and our children to live here in peace, the penalties must be such that it is not worth it to them to use violence against us or against anyone else.”
Honenu Attorney Chayim Bleicher, who is assisting the bereaved families: “We are leaving the court after hearing the sentencing of a terrorist who did not prevent the attack on Kim and Ziv, Hy”d. The judge handed down a remarkable ruling which determined that the penalty of an abettor to or a participant in a terror attack or of someone who did not prevent one, must be stringent. And deterrence must be increased. Despite the plea bargain settled with the terrorist of three years’ imprisonment, the judge ruled that she did not accept the agreement and in accordance with the families’ opposition she set the penalty at four years. The maximum penalty for this crime is five years’ imprisonment.
“This is a call for change, by the judge and by the court, to the prosecution and also to the lawmakers in Yehuda and Shomron and in the Knesset. The time has come to change the law, to ensure that terrorists and their abettors are heavily penalized, so that they will not be released at a young age and return to society. They must be imprisoned for many years. It should not be that someone who does not prevent the death of innocent victims and is a confidant of a terrorist cannot receive more than five years’ imprisonment. The time has come to change the law and to put terrorists behind bars for many years, thereby increasing the security of all of us and giving payback to those who wish to kill us.”

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