Prosecution demands stiff penalty for Beit Jala terrorist

Honenu Attorney Chayim Bleicher; Photo credit: Honenu

Sunday, July 4, 2021, 18:12 Last week, at a penalty hearing at the Ofer Military Court in Yehuda, the Military Advocate General demanded a stiff sentence for Ahmad Nafaz Muhammad, the terrorist who stabbed Aharon Heller in a November 2018 attack outside of a supermarket in Beit Jala. Muhammad stabbed Heller, who required medical treatment, including stitches, in his face and body approximately nine times. Muhammad’s family handed him over to the security forces shortly after the attack, and he was indicted in December 2018. In June 2021, the Ofer Military Court convicted Muhammad of attempted murder and possessing a knife.
Heller, who had fled the scene bleeding heavily, spoke at the hearing and described the attack: “I left the store at which I was accustomed to shop, a place with which I am familiar. I never thought that someone would attack me at that place. Suddenly I felt someone attacking me. I started to hear a terrible sound from him. I understood that something cruel was happening at that moment.
“I started to feel that he was choking me with one hand and stabbing me with the other. It took me a few seconds to understand that my life was in danger and that he was trying to reach my throat and kill me. I put my head down and I was stabbed next to my eye. I thought that this was already the end.
“I thought about my wife, how she would have to raise the children alone, and that gave me strength. I thought about how my three-month-old son wouldn’t even remember how I looked. I understood that I had to fight and not give up. It was hard to struggle against him and escape.”
In the end, Heller managed to enter the store again, go towards the rear entrance that led to the house of the store owner and lock the door behind him. Heller continued: “Since the attack, I have had many questions and no answers. The incident stays with me all the time. There’s my life before the attack, and there’s my life after the attack.”
The Military Advocate General detailed their reasons for demanding a long prison sentence, citing that the terrorist was convicted of attempted murder. At the conclusion of the hearing, the Military Advocate General demanded that an active prison sentence of 19-25 years be handed down to the terrorist and payment of compensation to the victim be imposed on him.
Honenu Attorney Chayim Bleicher, who is representing Heller as a victim of terror: “Unfortunately antisemitic terror occurs constantly. It is of the utmost importance that the courts hand down severe penalties, the maximum allowed by law, as a deterrence factor. We hope that the judges will agree to the demands by the prosecution, hand down a stiff penalty to the terrorist, and thereby do their part to deter terror.”

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