Penalty hearing held for Yehuda Guetta’s murderer

Yehuda Guetta, Hy”d; Photo courtesy of the family

Monday, October 4, 2021, 15:04 On Monday, October 4, at the Ofer Military Court in Yehuda, a penalty hearing was held for Muntasir Shalabi, the terrorist who murdered Yehuda Guetta, Hy”d, in a shooting attack at Tapuah Junction on May 2. In the same attack, Shalabi attempted to murder Binaya Peretz, who was seriously injured, and Amichai Hala, who was lightly injured. Soldiers at the scene opened fire, injuring Shalabi, who then fled. Security forces apprehended him several days later. Shalabi admitted to all of the charges in his indictment and was convicted of intentional homicide, (the equivalent of murder in a military court), three counts of attempted intentional homicide, unlawful production, possessing, carrying and use of a weapon and disruption of legal proceedings.

At the end of the hearing, the terrorist said that he had carried out the attack because of “El Aqsa”, the Temple Mount. Yehuda’s father demanded that the judges hand down a death sentence to Shalabi in order to deter potential terrorists, and Binaya’s father repeated the demand. Representatives of the families testified concerning the injury they had experienced. Honenu Attorney Chayim Bleicher, who is representing the Guetta family as victims of terror, was present.

Rabbi Elisha Guetta, Yehuda’s father, described the great loss: “He had an exceptional sensitivity to his friends. He had a great love of Israel, he seriously loved the Land of Israel. [The murder] greatly affected us, the immediate family, the extended family, the community and his close friends. There is a real void, a chasm that can’t be bridged, a feeling that a part of the body has been amputated, that part of the body has been injured. … We ask the court to impose on the terrorist the maximum penalty possible, the death penalty, because that is what he deserves. If the weapon had not exploded in his hands, the tragedy would have been much more horrific. The next murder must be prevented.”

Ofer Peretz, Binaya’s father, also described their situation to the judges: “All of his circles of family and friends have been hurt, his friends, his extended family… I have come on behalf of Binaya, on behalf of my family, of my wife, of myself, to testify here so that the court will consider imposing the maximum penalty according to law on the murderer. Not only for me or for Binaya, but to deter people like [the terrorist], despicable murderers, so that they will not commit acts like this again. We are not seeking revenge, but rather deterrence.”

After the hearing, Honenu Attorney Chayim Bleicher stated: “The time has come to change the reality. Rabbi Elisha asked the judges to hand down a death sentence to the terrorist. The time has come to fight this war to the end: In the military law books a death penalty is the maximum penalty for murder.”

Bleicher objected to remarks by the terrorist: “At the end of the hearing, the terrorist had the chutzpa to say that he had carried out the attack because of the Temple Mount, ‘El Aqsa’ in his words. We must understand what we are fighting. As long as they have the hope that they can defeat us in the struggle for the Land of Israel, that they have a right to the Temple Mount, we will suffer more attacks like this. We must obliterate every shred of hope they have.”

Likewise Rabbi Elisha Guetta stated, “We repeat our demand for the military court to step out of the box, to leave behind fixed thinking, and to implement what is written in military law: a death sentence for an abhorrent and despicable terrorist. Otherwise it will be impossible to prevent the next murder. … The abettors themselves should be given life sentences, but for the vile terrorist – only a death sentence [is enough]. This is the only thing that will prevent the next murder.”

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