Gelman family to attend appeal hearing

Major (Res.) Eliav Gelman, Hy”d; Photo credit: IDF Spokesperson’s Unit

Tuesday, January 18, 2022, 8:51 Major (Res.) Eliav Gelman, Hy”d, was killed in a terror attack at Etzion Bloc Junction in February 2016. The terrorist was convicted of manslaughter. Currently, Gelman’s family is calling on the Military Court of Appeals in Yehuda to convict the terrorist of murder. A hearing is expected to be held on Tuesday, January 18 at the Military Court of Appeals in Yehuda.

On February 24, 2016, the terrorist, Mamdouh Yusaf Amro age 26, a resident of Dura in the Har Hevron region arrived at the scene of the attack and walked towards the hitch-hiking stop at Etzion Bloc Junction. After arousing the suspicions of the soldiers at the junction, he started to run and waved a knife. Gelman, who was a company commander in the paratrooper corps and also an officer in the air force was waiting at the hitch-hiking stop, as were several civilians. Gelman drew his pistol and charged the terrorist. Unfortunately, Gelman was injured by “friendly fire” and tragically died of his wounds.

The Military Court in Yehuda ruled that the terrorist is culpable for Gelman’s death because the shot was fired as a result of his actions. However, in a precedent and contrary to the opinion of the judge heading the panel, the court ruled that it was not possible to prove that Amro intended to cause Gelman’s death in the attack. The court exonerated Amro from the crime of murder and convicted him of the lesser charge of manslaughter.

The Military Advocate General appealed the controversial ruling with the Yehuda and Shomron Military Court of Appeals and is demanding a murder conviction. Gelman’s siblings announced that they would be present at the hearing and would demand that the terrorist be convicted of murder. “A terrorist who set out to murder Jews must not see the light of day. Our brother left behind a widow and three children, only because a despicable terrorist decided to leave his home and murder Jews. A terrorist like this must not be protected by the military court. How could they rule that he did not want to murder? What did a terrorist running with a drawn knife want to do? Give a hug? The military court’s ruling is a scandal, a disgrace, and we are certain that the appellate court will overturn it.”

Additionally, the family called for the death penalty for the terrorist. “So that there will not be more bereaved families, the courts must cut off the terrorists’ hope. They must act with an iron fist and hand down a harsh ruling that will deter [potential terrorists]. Only the death penalty will stop the miscreants who want to murder us.” (For their reaction to the exoneration, please click here.)

Honenu Attorney Chayim Bleicher, who is assisting the family, added, “After a long wait for this important appellate hearing, we expect the military court to rectify the horrific error and the terrible injustice of exonerating the terrorist from murder and convicting him of manslaughter. According to every standard, the vile terrorist did everything in his power to murder Jews as part of a wave of murderous terror. We hope that the judges will overturn the pathetic ruling of the first court and convict the despicable terrorist of murder.”

Moria Kor, Eliav’s sister, added, “The goal of the contemptible terrorist was to harm Jews. Eliav rushed forward to protect the women and children who were at the hitch-hiking stop. During the fight, he was injured and killed as he shielded all of the people who were there with his body. The terrorist arrived with the clear goal of murdering, of taking lives. Therefore his life must be taken. And if not by the death penalty, then at least he should rot in prison.

“It cannot be that the terrorist who took the life of my brother – and thus all of our lives changed in one moment, his parents, his pregnant wife, his young children, his siblings, all of his relatives –  will continue to live comfortably as if nothing happened. This terrorist must pay a high price. The military court must impose a penalty that will shock and not allow an incident like this to happen again. There should not be more families who are forced to live with constant pain and longing for a beloved brother who, because of a heinous terrorist, is no longer with us.”

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