Rock-attack terrorist sentenced to 10.5 years

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Wednesday, May 10, 2023, 16:28 On Wednesday, May 10, the Military Court in Yehuda sentenced the terrorist Yassin Atta to 10.5 years’ imprisonment in the framework of a plea bargain. During August 2020, Atta threw a rock from a moving car at the vehicle of a Jewish family driving near the town of Neve Tzuf. The family was awarded 35,000 NIS in compensation, 25,000 NIS of which has been paid. The judges emphasized that if Atta does not pay the remaining compensation, another year will be added to his sentence. Mahmoud Zaharan, another terrorist who was with him at the time of the offense, was sentenced to six years’ imprisonment in November 2022. Honenu Attorney Chayim Bleicher represented the family.

The judges wrote in their ruling, “The nationalistically and ideologically motivated crime was committed with the intent to injure Israelis. The rock-throwing caused the victim an extremely severe injury that affects her, both physically and emotionally, to this day. The defendant witnessed the injury caused by the rock, and fled the scene.”

In August 2020, Atta and Zaharan left the village of Deir Abu Masha’al with the intent to throw rocks at Jewish cars. Atta and his accomplice drove near the community of Neve Tzuf in the Binyamin region. When they noticed a Jewish family driving by, they slowed down, and Atta threw a rock at their car from point-blank range. The rock weighing more than 600 grams, shattered the front windshield, passed between the driver and the front-seat passenger, and hit a ten-year-old girl sitting in the rear seat. The rock struck the girl’s forehead, forcing her head backward and causing a deep cut. She was evacuated, bleeding heavily, to Sheba-Tel HaShomer Hospital, where after undergoing a CAT scan, had her head wound treated, requiring nine stitches. At the time, Bleicher stated that the position of the girl’s head leaning back on the headrest saved her life. The terrorists fled the scene immediately after the attack.

Honenu Attorney Chayim Bleicher, who represented the family, commented on the sentencing: “This attack could have been fatal. We thank the security forces and the State Attorney’s Office for apprehending the terrorists, bringing them to trial, and ensuring that they were significantly penalized and also required to pay compensation to the victims. The war on terror must be uncompromising. We are of the opinion that the maximum penalty for such terrorists must be increased as much as possible, and we will act with victims of terror attacks to achieve that goal.”

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