Rozen: “These terrorists wanted to murder me!”

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Wednesday, April 6, 2022, 16:49 On Tuesday, April 5, Jerusalem District Court Judge Ilan Sela handed down lenient sentences to two of the rioting Arabs who brutally attacked Eli Rozen in the Shimon HaTzadik neighborhood of Jerusalem on April 23, 2021. They were 17-year-old minors at the time. Judge Sela sentenced one of them to two and a half years’ imprisonment and the other to two years’ imprisonment.

Eli Rozen responded to the sentencing: “These terrorists wanted to murder me! I do not understand why they received a prize: They will be released soon. Instead of us being free, the terrorists are being released.”

Honenu expressed anger over the lenient penalty and Honenu Attorney Chayim Bleicher, who is representing Rozen, sent a letter to the Attorney General’s office asking them to appeal for a more stringent penalty. He wrote: “This was an extremely brutal attack with long-term effects of broken bones and emotional trauma, and potentially the victim could have been much more severely injured.”

Bleicher added that the severity of the defendants’ actions must be examined as an integral part of the entire attack, and that “the nature of attacks is that each terrorist gives his ‘modest contribution’ to injuring the victim, and together, the sum total of the acts is a serious danger that has the potential of being immediately life-threatening.

“We are of the opinion that the lenient sentences constitute serious damage to the deterrence factor against and to the war on terror, which is a daily existential threat to Israeli citizens. Considerations of [the defendants’] rehabilitation, their status as minors, and other circumstances must all be overridden in the face of the existential danger of terror.”

In conclusion, Bleicher cited a recent ruling by the Supreme Court, which directed the courts to be stringent when penalizing terrorists, and asked the office of the Attorney General “to appeal the lenient sentence and to demand a stiffer penalty so that a much more significant penalty will be handed down to the terrorists.”

In February, the Jerusalem District Court convicted two of the suspects in the brutal attack, Adnan Harbawi and Ibrahim Za’atri, of rioting and of aggravated assault in an act of terror, in accordance with the counter-terror law. In March, Supreme Court Justice Anat Baron rejected an appeal by Muhammad Khalaf, who is charged with brutally attacking Rozen, and ordered him held in remand until the end of proceedings against him. Five suspects have been indicted in the attack.

Eli Rozen was attacked in the Shimon HaTzadik neighborhood on April 23, 2021, during the Arab rioting in Jerusalem. Rozen finished prayers at the Tomb of Shimon HaTzadik and started to walk to his home in the Shmuel HaNavi neighborhood, past dozens of rioters. They completely surrounded him, and then punched him, kicked him, beat him with wooden clubs, threw large rocks and other objects at him, and used an electric shocker on him. Rozen suffered bruises, swelling, cuts, and three broken vertebrae. His attackers posted video clips of the incident on social media. Honenu Attorney Chayim Bleicher has been assisting Rozen throughout the trial.

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