Kfar Saba Memorial Day terrorist withdraws appeal

Honenu Atty. Chayim Bleicher and Batya Lebel; Photo credit: Honenu

Thursday, July 13, 2023, 12:26 On Memorial Day for Fallen Soldiers and Victims of Terrorism in 2020 (April 27-28 that year), Muhammad Risha viciously stabbed 62-year-old Batya Lebel 13 times in a terror attack in Kfar Saba. In September 2022, the Central District Court in Lod sentenced Risha to 21 years’ imprisonment. Risha appealed his sentencing to the Supreme Court and one week ago a hearing was held. At the hearing, Risha’s attorney, Ala Talawi, claimed that although it was proven that the terrorist arrived with the goal of murdering Jews and stabbed Lebel many times, “At the end of the day, the injury was light.” Supreme Court Justice Yael Willner strongly opposed Attorney Talawi’s statement and said, “It is impossible to say that the injury the victim suffered was ‘light’ after reviewing the extent of the injuries. That is an outrageous statement.”

Attorney Talawi added that the terrorist is a young man to whom the prison sentence would cause great damage, and that the attack was not premeditated. Justice Yitzhak Amit rebuffed the statement and said, “This was a terror attack and a premeditated attempted murder. We will not be lenient on this matter.” The other justices also clarified to Attorney Talawi that they are not interested in hearing the State Attorney’s answer to the appeal because they intend to dismiss it. In light of the justices’ statements, Attorney Talawi withdrew the appeal, and the 21-year sentence was left standing.

Honenu Attorney Chayim Bleicher, who is representing Lebel, stated, “The terrorist attempted to murder Batya in cold blood and viciously stabbed her 13 times. The Supreme Court Justices decisively expressed their opinion that there is no reason to be lenient with the penalization of the terrorist. The time has come to change the lenient rulings that have been given in such cases up till now and to clarify to terrorists that they will be punished for their crimes to the full extent of the law. They must be removed from society for the rest of their lives.”

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