Minor sentenced for Yoshvaev arson incident

Please click here for a list of posts relating to cases in which Honenu provided legal counsel to victims of antisemitic attacks in Jerusalem.

Tuesday, December 13, 2022, 12:03 The Jerusalem District Juvenile Court sentenced an Arab minor who set fire to the Yoshvaevs’ house in the Shimon HaTzadik neighborhood of Jerusalem to two and a half years’ imprisonment. A 7,000 NIS fine was also imposed on him and he was required to pay Yoshvaev 7,000 NIS in compensation. The indictment did not attribute an act of terror to the minor due to his claim that he had checked that there were no people in the house before he set it on fire. Honenu does consider the incident to be an act of terror. (See Terrorist’s attorney: Jewish presence is the problem for a disgraceful incident that occurred during a Jerusalem District Court hearing in the case.)

Honenu Attorney Chayim Bleicher, who is representing the Yoshvaev family, stated after the sentencing, “We are of the opinion that [the minor] took part in extremely serious nationalistic crimes [terror] with dangerous intentions. In light of the facts described in the indictment, considering that the defendant is a minor who was sentenced to a significant prison term, and in contrast to the light penalties that the Jerusalem District Court handed down to Arab rioters during Operation Guardian of the Walls, I think that this ruling constitutes a certain achievement. We think that the terrorists should receive much stiffer penalties. We expect the rest of the defendants in the case, who are adults and have also been charged with crimes of terror, to be sentenced to significant terms of many years’ imprisonment.”

Several terrorists hurled Molotov cocktails at the home of the Yoshvaev family in the Shimon HaTzadik neighborhood of Jerusalem in February 2022. The flames set fire to the home, and the fire was particularly strong in the children’s bedroom. Fortunately, the family was not at home at the time. For this incident and other attacks on the family’s house, one minor from the neighborhood and three adults have been indicted. The minor, see above, has already been sentenced. The adults, Muataz Haj Mahmud (20), Bilal Jabari (19), and Jamal Hosseini (23), whose trial is still ongoing, have each been indicted for their part in the following crimes: arson, weapon production, carrying a weapon, racially and maliciously motivated damage, attempted arson as an act of terror, aggravated assault in an act of terror, and operating a weapon as an act of terror.

Since Operation Guardian of the Walls, the Yoshvaev family has suffered close to 20 acts of terror including fireworks shot from point-blank range at their sukka while Tal was sleeping in it, nine vehicular arson attacks, two Molotov cocktails thrown at their house, an array of fireworks launched at their yard, and many bottles of paint thrown at their car. For more details, see here and here. In February, the police closed off the home of the Yoshvaev family to guests and visitors, including workers who were needed to repair arson damage. The barriers were removed in March in light of a petition to the High Court of Justice.

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