Friday, November 30, 2018, 8:49 On Monday, November 26, the Ofer Military Court of
Appeals accepted the opinion of the Military Advocate General’s office, which had filed an appeal on the request by Ibrahim Wadi for release on bail and ruled that he will remain in remand until the end of proceedings. Wadi is one of the prominent detainees among the Arab assailants from the village of Qusra who ambushed and assaulted a group of youths hiking on a bar mitzva trip near the Jewish community of Migdalim in November 2017. Wadi was detained several days after the attack and has remained in remand since then. Military Advocate General’s office opposed both the release on bail itself and the sum of the bail which Wadi had requested, 50,000 NIS.
The ambush occurred on November 30, 2017, when a group of 22 boys and two adult chaperones set out on a bar mitzva hike between the Jewish communities of Migdalim and Kida. As the group neared the village of Qusra dozens of Arabs threw rocks at them and shouted “Itbah al Yahud” (slaughter the Jews). The armed chaperones of group guided the boys into a cave in order to protect them. One of the chaperones stayed in the cave with the boys while the other guarded them from the outside.
The rioting Arabs approached the cave and threw rocks into it, ignoring the calls of the chaperone that there were children inside. The rioters entered the cave, grabbed the chaperone’s pistol, hurled rocks and small boulders at the boys, beat them with clubs and sprayed pepper spray into the cave. Threatening the group with the pistol, the rioters stole the boys’ backpacks, with all of their contents.
One of the prominent rioters, who was identified as Ibrahim Wadi, entered the cave and assaulted the chaperone who was protecting the boys. The chaperone shielded his head with his arms from lethal blows.
Honenu Attorney Menashe Yado, who is representing the group of hikers as victims of crime, stated that, “Honenu has been assisting the injured victims of the ambush near Qusra and is striving to achieve complete recognition of the incident, both of the severity of the acts perpetrated by the rioters and of the damage caused to the innocent hikers. We do not intend to leave the legal arena to the defense attorneys of the rioters and the left-wing organizations that have been a constant presence in the military courts for years, each and every day.”
Yado described the process that the legal system is undergoing: “Currently there is also a Jewish presence in the courts, ensuring that between the walls of the courtrooms it will not be forgotten that there are people behind the statistics of terror and terror attacks, and that the courts must always remember that rioters and terrorists must be prosecuted to the full extent of the law.”
Furthermore, Yado welcomed the acceptance of the appeal: “We welcome the decision which ordered the remand until the end of proceedings a man who, as stated in the indictment, took a significant part in the serious ambush near Qusra. We would like to note that in our opinion the main intent of the ambush of the hikers was an attempt by the residents of Qusra to not allow Jews to hike in Yehuda and Shomron, and in effect to take for themselves de facto possession of the region. The severity of the incident and its fundamental purpose justify significantly intensifying the manner in which the law enforcement authorities treat the rioters.
“While we welcome the latest decision by the appellate court, we would like to emphasize that there remains a need to draw conclusions from the serious failings of the Israeli Police and the law enforcement authorities in general in the investigation of the case, failings which resulted in the release of prominent rioters and the failure to apprehend the one who grabbed the pistol from one of the hikers.”
Benny Gal, whose son was assaulted in the attack, also opposed the release of Wadi: “The subject of discussion is a 61 year old man, not a youth, who proactively went out of his village with a gang of rioters, took a stick on the way and beat the armed chaperone and our children. We almost faced a situation of, G-d forbid, the funerals of a group of innocent children who simply went on a bar mitzva hike. The assailants must be prosecuted to the full extent of the law in order to deter other rioters who would want to assault Jews in general and certainly Jewish children in the Land of Israel.”
After Wadi filed a request for release, Honenu Attorney Chayim Bleicher, who is representing the assaulted hikers as crime victims, sent a letter to the military prosecutor judging the case in which he stated that Wadi was one of the leaders of the ambush and assault and that he was identified with complete certainty by the adult chaperone: “He [Wadi] stood out in his cruelty when the chaperone attempted to shield the boys with his body. The defendant started to beat him in the head. The adult chaperone remembered the defendant with complete certainty, and there are also video clips and photographs directly linking him [the defendant] to the incident and the cave. There is no doubt that the release of the defendant from remand at this stage poses a danger and hampers the possibility of penalizing the defendant.”