Tuesday, January 6, 2015, 17:36 A severe indictment was filed on the morning of Tuesday,
January 6, at the Shomron Military Court in Salem against the murderers of Avi Ben-Tzion, Hy”d, who was assaulted and critically injured on December 1 at the Migdalim (Alon) Junction in the Shomron (he succumbed to his injuries the following day). His widow, Niva, said that, “Now it is obvious to everyone that the motive for the murder was nationalistic. We call on the authorities to do what is self-evident and recognize the motive of the murder as nationalistic.”
Amir Juad Hamad Bni Jabar, Nadbar Ashraf Bassam Abad AlHamid Abu Katab and Mohamed Bassam Taher Bni Gameh, all three of them young men from the town of Akrava, have been indicted on counts of intentionally causing death, robbery with use of force, leaving a victim after injury, obstructing justice, and trafficking a stolen vehicle and parts.
According to the indictment the three defendants went out on 1/12/14 with the intent to steal a car from a Jew by rear-ending one on a road traveled by Jews in the hope that following the ‘accident’ the car owner would get out of his car and then two of the defendants would get in and steal it. Immediately after the defendants left Akrava they spotted Ben-Tzion as he drove his car. They followed him until the Migdalim Junction where, in accordance with their plan, they lightly collided with his car. Ben-Tzion got out of his car, approached the defendants’ car, shook the hand of one of them and spoke to him. At that time one of the defendants exited their car holding tear gas spray and sprayed Ben-Tzion in the eyes. Immediately afterwards one of the defendants entered Ben-Tzion’s car, drove several meters and then made a U-turn. Simultaneously the other defendants made a U-turn in their car and in doing so hit Ben-Tzion and knocked him to the ground. They then drove over his body, drove in reverse over his body and then fled the scene. The defendants were aware that Ben-Tzion’s body was sprawled on the road and despite that they fled the scene.
The indictment continues and describes how the three defendants hid their car in an olive grove, disconnected the GPS devices in Ben-Tzion’s car and sold the parts of the car.
At a press conference on Sunday, December 21, Avi Ben-Tzion’s family announced the start of a campaign to have the motive of his murder recognized as nationalistic. Council chairmen from Yehuda and Shomron joined the campaign and sent an urgent letter on Monday, December 29, to Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon in which they demanded that Ben-Tzion’s murder be recognized as an act of terror.
After the indictment was filed, Ben-Tzion’s widow, Niva, said that, “During the past weeks we have been voicing Avi’s cry [for justice]. Today we received confirmation that Avi was robbed because he was Israeli and Jewish and murdered because he was Israeli and Jewish. In the indictment one sees that the terrorists didn’t look for just any car, but rather particularly for an Israeli car in a place in which Jews travel. Now it is obvious to everyone that the motive for the murder was nationalistic. We call on the authorities to do what is self-evident and recognize the motive of the murder as nationalistic. We thank the police, the Attorney General’s office, and the security forces for quickly apprehending the murderers and filing the indictment.”
“The Military Advocate General ruled unequivocally that the circumstances in which the deceased was murdered were nationalistic,” said Honenu attorney Hur Uriel Nizri, who is representing Ben-Tzion’s family. “In our opinion this ruling meets the legislative requirement for classifying the incident as a nationalistically motivated incident. Likewise the severe indictment filed today, including one of the most serious crimes, expresses and clearly strengthens the claims the family has made until now. As a rule, with crimes for which the penalty is more than 10 years imprisonment the nationalistic motive does not appear. [in the indictment] The nationalistic circumstances mentioned in the indictment constitute a clear statement classifying the incident as nationalistic and we welcome that, as we do the severe indictment filed. This is the place to add that we expect the authorities to conduct themselves in accordance with what is written in the indictment.”