Monday, September 16, 2019, 8:59 Honenu Attorney Chayim Bleicher: “The court ruled that accomplices to terrorists and also individuals comprising their supportive environment must be severely penalized. We hope that this will deter the family of the next terrorist.”
On Sunday, September 15, the Ofer Military Court of Appeals rejected the appeal filed by Amjad Walid Suleiman Na’alwa, the brother of the terrorist, Ashraf Walid Suleiman Na’alwa who murdered Kim Levengrond-Yehezkel, Hy”d, and Ziv Hajbi, Hy”d, in the Barkan Industrial Zone on October 7, 2018. Judge Ya’ir Tirosh stated that Amjad’s original penalty was very lenient relative to his actions and increased its severity.
On July 17, the Shomron Military Court convicted Amjad Na’alwa of failure to prevent a crime because he had been aware that his brother possessed an illegal weapon, and did not fulfill his obligation to prevent the attack. Additionally Amjad was convicted of disrupting legal proceedings by removing video clips from the security cameras in the terrorist’s home for the purpose of preventing the army from obtaining information about the terrorist and his accomplices when the armed terrorist was fleeing the security forces.
The Shomron Military Court initially sentenced Amjad to twelve months in prison, which were scheduled to come to an end in the coming month. The Military Advocate General filed appeals on the leniency of the penalty, and also Amjad filed an appeal on his conviction for preventing the possession of the weapon and the severity of his penalization.
Yesterday (Sunday), at the Ofer Military Court of Appeals, Judge Tirosh sharply criticized the decision by the Shomron Military Court and ruled that the penalty imposed on the terrorist’s brother is extremely incommensurate with the severity of his acts.
Judge Tirosh said that the penalty imposed by the Shomron Military Court does not give expression to the fact that after the attack the brother of the terrorist attempted to suppress evidence and disrupt IDF operations, while knowing that his brother is a dangerous terrorist moving about freely. The Ofer Military Court of Appeals also ruled that the bounds of the penalty imposed by the Shomron Military Court were far from being in line with the severity of the incident and the severity of the actions of the defendant (Amjad).
Judge Tirosh also sharply criticized and denigrated the claims by the defendant in his appeal, that he had been a victim of the actions of his brother and was not guilty of anything.
After hearing the ruling, Honenu Attorney Chayim Bleicher, who is assisting the families of the victims, Kim Levengrond-Yehezkel, Hy”d, and Ziv Hajbi, Hy”d, stated that, “The court handed down an important ruling in the case of the brother of the terrorist who murdered Ziv and Kim. The court ruled that also concerning the individuals supporting terrorists the deterrence factor must be improved.
“The brother of the terrorist, who was convicted of failure to prevent his possession of a weapon and attempting to disrupt the investigation after the attack and preventing the arrest of the terrorist and his accomplices, received a sentence of only one year imprisonment and was scheduled to be released in the coming days. The court doubled the penalty, and only because it is an appellate court it was not possible to penalize the defendant to the full extent. The court also imposed a 70,000 NIS fine on him,” added Bleicher.
“A statement has been made that the way to prevent terror is to deter individuals in the supportive surrounding of terrorists and actual accomplices and individuals who could have prevented an attack, but did not. There is no doubt that this trend of severe penalties for terrorists and their accomplices is the result of the prolonged campaign by bereaved families who come to deliberations, sit with military prosecutors, and spur them to increasingly fight terror.”
Bleicher commended the military prosecution: “Well done to the Military Advocate General, who took this case seriously and brought about this important result. We are certain that this trial will be a call for change with regards to increasing the severity of penalties for terrorists and their accomplices in order to eradicate terror. Thus also for the father and the mother of the terrorist. The mother was convicted of failure to prevent the attack and the father will be convicted soon. We hope that they will sit in prison for many years and that the parents of other terrorists who are planning to carry out attacks will be deterred by the penalty that will be imposed on these parents and will prevent the next attack.”
Rafi Levengrond (L) and Guy Yehezkel, Kim’s husband; Video credit: Honenu
Rafi Levengrond, the father of Kim Levengrond-Yehezkel, Hy”d, stated after the deliberation: “Although we are not completely satisfied with the penalty, it is much better than what the Military Court in Salem ruled. The judge emphasized that the [defendant] deserved the additional year of imprisonment as a penalty for his acts and not out of revenge or anything else. He [the defendant] disrupted legal proceedings, hid the video clip [from the security cameras], and did all sorts of other things. He was tried for not preventing the murder, with no connection to what his brother did or anything else. He was tried for his acts. Maybe that will teach others that it is not worth it to sit by quietly and they will report a planned murder. Because after a murder it is too late. I think that he should receive at least five years, but he received four, out of which two are a suspended sentence. Also the 70,000 NIS fine imposed on him is too low. It will not deter terrorists, but it is definitely progress.”