Eliav Gelman’s murderer not sentenced to life

Eliav Gelman, Hy”d; Photo credit: Free use

Monday, March 4, 2024, 11:17 On Monday, February 4, the Ofer Military Court in Yehuda sentenced Mamdouh Yusaf Amro, the terrorist who murdered Major (Res.) Eliav Gelman in a 2016 terror attack at the Etzion Bloc Junction, to 35 years’ imprisonment. The court did not impose a life sentence on Amro despite his conviction of murder. The judges based their ruling on Amro’s emotional state. Initially, the Military Court in Yehuda in a majority ruling convicted Amro of only manslaughter and sentenced him to 30 years’ imprisonment. The Military Advocate General appealed the decision. The Military Court of Appeals unanimously convicted the terrorist of murder and returned the case to the Military Court in Yehuda for resentencing. In September 2022, a penalty hearing was held. Members of the Gelman family were present, accompanied by Honenu Attorney Chayim Bleicher, who is representing the family, and testified against the terrorist. They demanded the maximum penalty.

Ayal Gelman, Eliav’s brother, reacted to the sentencing: “We were shocked to hear that the court decided not to sentence this despicable terrorist to life imprisonment. We arrived at a hearing after serving a long reserve duty during which we fought terror and the evil attempting to uproot us from our land. Now, we are informed of this lenient sentence, a shocking one, handed down to this terrorist. It sets a disastrous precedent for leniency toward all Nukhba [Hamas special forces unit] murderers. Are Nukhba terrorists likely to see the light of day? Will other families of murder victims have to suffer what we are suffering? This [ruling] does significant damage to the war Israel is waging on evil. Israelis must come to their senses. The Counter-terrorism Law must be changed. The prosecution of terrorists must stop being lenient. That is not how the enemy will be defeated. This is not how a war is won. I am certain that the People of Israel will come to their senses and defeat the enemy.”

Honenu Attorney Chayim Bleicher added, “The sentencing is a disgrace. It damages the war on terror. The court is continuing the erroneous reasoning of the lower court by choosing not to impose a life sentence, but only 35 years’ imprisonment on the terrorist. The justification that the judges gave of the terrorist having a mental illness is unacceptable. Every terrorist who tries to murder Jews is suddenly classified as mentally ill. Terror must be fought without looking for reasons to be lenient. How can the judges concern themselves with the terrorist’s illness and not with saving Israel from despicable terrorists? The judges ruled that because Eliav was injured by gunfire from soldiers, they must be lenient when penalizing the terrorist. Perhaps the penalization of the October 7 terrorist should be lenient too? How low can the judicial system sink? The time has come to change this attitude. Terrorists should not be judged according to civilian criminal standards. The injury that the court has caused to the Gelman family and all of Israel is intolerable. We expect the Military Advocate General to appeal the sentence. It is time to change the Counter-terrorism Law.”

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