Monday, December 16, 2019, 15:39 On Monday, December 16, a second deliberation in the trial of Hamza Faiz Fozi Abu Alfilat, at which the sides stated claims for the severity or leniency of the penalty, took place. Hamza Faiz stabbed and seriously injured Nirit Zemora in a terror attack at the Etzion Bloc Intersection parking lot on October 28, 2015. The Ofer Military Court of Appeals convicted Hamza Faiz, who was initially convicted only of aggravated assault, of attempted murder. The Military Advocate General asked the judges to increase the penalty from 14 years imprisonment to an active sentence of between 20 and 30 years, because the terrorist has been convicted of a more serious crime.
Honenu Attorney Chayim Bleicher: “Today, for the second time, we were present as claims were made during the penalty phase following the terrorist’s conviction by the [Ofer] Military Court of Appeals of attempting to murder Nirit. The prosecution requested a penalty of between 20 and 30 years’ active imprisonment, in accordance with the Counter-terrorism Law.”
In Bleicher’s opinion, the judges must accept the request by the prosecution and increase the penalty handed down to the terrorist: “We think that the judges should accede to the request by the prosecution and give close to 30 years, at least, to the terrorist who attempted to murder Nirit. The only way to stop the attacks is to fight terrorism and be stringent with penalties, severe penalties. Part of the deterrence factor is lengthy prison terms for terrorists.”
Additionally, Bleicher noted that the terrorist’s attorney had requested that the judges take into consideration the suffering of the terrorist due to the delay of justice, because the deliberations have continued for four years, and pointed out that, “The attorney forgot to mention that some of the deliberations were delayed and postponed because of strikes that the attorney himself conducted in solidarity with imprisoned terrorists.”
Zemora expressed her concerns: “We arrived today for the penalty phase, and just now we left the courthouse. I was very optimistic when I arrived, but now that I have seen how the terrorist’s attorney speaks, I am concerned that he has again spoken smooth words to the judges, and I am concerned that he will again succeed in influencing them by various manipulations. I hope for the best.” Zemora thanked Honenu Attorney Chayim Bleicher for his legal counsel: “From the start they [Honenu] knew how to navigate the judicial proceedings for us, and assisted us with both emotional and legal counsel.”
Nirit Zemora, speaking outside of the courthouse; Video credit: Honenu
Approximately six months ago, the Military Court in Yehuda exonerated the terrorist of attempted murder and convicted him only of aggravated assault, because he had stabbed the victim in the back “only” once, because the knife broke during the stabbing, and according to the judges it was not possible to prove beyond a doubt that the terrorist had intended to murder Nirit Zemora.
The court ruling raised a considerable outcry and the Military Advocate General immediately announced their intent to file an appeal on the verdict. On July 16, 2018, the Ofer Military Court handed down a 14-year prison sentence and also awarded 500,000 NIS in compensation to Zemora for aggravated assault.
On October 7, the Ofer Military Court of Appeals under the auspices of Judge Colonel Netanel Benisho, the President of the Military Court of Appeals, accepted the appeal filed by the Military Advocate General and convicted Hamza Faiz of attempted murder. The Appellate Court returned the case to the Military Court in Yehuda for resentencing Hamza Faiz.