Wednesday, October 26, 2016 12:07 The family of a Jewish youth stabbed in the back by a
terrorist in the Old City of Jerusalem on May 24, 2015, the eve of the Shavuot holiday, is furious over the lenient sentence recently handed down to the terrorist. In the same incident the terrorist stabbed another youth in his right shoulder, causing a deep, penetrating wound above his shoulder blade.
During the week of Sunday, October 23, the Attorney General’s office informed Honenu Attorney Menasheh Yado, who has been counseling the injured youth’s family, that Jerusalem District Court Judge Raphael Carmel sentenced the terrorist, John Kakish, to only nine years in prison, despite the fact that he was convicted of aggravated assault, which carries a penalty of up to 20 years in prison. If the terrorist is released after a reduction of one third of the sentence, he will be released in just another four and a half years.
Judge Carmel determined that the stabbing was a serious incident, the penalty for which ranges from 8-16 years imprisonment, but nevertheless chose a lenient sentence. He wrote that the fact that the terrorist admitted to the act, which was recorded by a security camera, must be considered. Also the terrorist’s personal circumstances and his plea that he committed the act not only because of his hatred for Jews but also due to a personal crisis stemming from his sister being a drug addict and heavily consuming alcohol must be considered. The terrorist has a criminal record, including violent acts. The Attorney General’s office, which had requested a 13-20 year prison sentence, informed the injured youth’s family that they intend to file an appeal on the decision.
“The legal system is belittling the situation,” said Nachman Revivo, the brother of the injured youth. “They are abandoning us and the attacks occur over and over again because the legal system is not tough with these murderers. This was an attempted murder of the first degree. The terrorist impaled a 30 cm. knife into my brother’s back. Thank G-d by a miracle he was not murdered, but that does not mean that a lenient penalty is appropriate. We very much hope that [the verdict] will be appealed in the Supreme Court and that [the terrorist] will receive a penalty that will deter potential terrorists.”
Honenu Attorney Menasheh Yado, who has been advising the injured youth’s family, also strongly criticized the decision: “A penalty of nine years for a serious case of racially motivated stabbing of two innocent Jews is a light penalty and inappropriate. The legal system has missed a justified opportunity to give a terrorist, who carried out an act which constituted in effect the opening shot of the most recent Intifada, a penalty that will deter others. We appreciate the intent of the Attorney General’s office to file an appeal on the leniency of the penalty and we hope that an appropriately severe penalty will be given.”
The stabbing attack occurred on May 24, 2015, near Sha’ar Shechem (Damascus Gate) in Jerusalem. The terrorist, John Kakish, had equipped himself with a 30-centimeter long knife and waited in ambush for Jews walking to the Western Wall Plaza for Shavuot holiday midnight prayers.
At 2:30 A.M. a group of Jewish youths approached the site. Kakish waited until the entire group passed him and was approximately 10 meters away from him. Then he drew his knife, ran towards the group, stabbed one of the youths in his right shoulder, stabbed another youth in the left side of his upper back and kicked another youth. All of the injured were minors. When the group began to chase Kakish, he fled the scene.
The youth who was stabbed in the back suffered a wound two centimeters deep and two centimeters long, approximately one centimeter from his spinal cord and lungs. He was rushed to hospital where a chest tube was inserted. The youth who was stabbed in his right shoulder suffered a deep, penetrating wound above his right shoulder blade and required stitches in several layers of the wound. One of the injured still suffers from various medical problems resulting from the stab wound.
It is important to note that Kakish was charged with aggravated assault, not attempted murder, despite the fact that he stabbed a Jewish youth in the back with a 30-centimeter knife. According to the Attorney General’s office there were difficulties in proving the intent to murder, despite the terrorist’s Facebook page on which he posted a large number of posts inciting to injure Jews.