Two more terrorists sentenced for Yoshvaev arson incident

Please click here for a list of posts relating to cases in which Honenu provided legal counsel to victims of antisemitic attacks in Jerusalem.

Arson damage; Photo courtesy of the family

Tuesday, June 13, 2023, 9:33 On Monday, June 12, the Jerusalem District Court sentenced two terrorists, Muataz Haj Mahmud and Bilal Jabari, to four and five years’ imprisonment, respectively. They were convicted in January of an arson attack which took place in February 2022 on the house and car belonging to the Yoshvaev family in the Shimon HaTzadik neighborhood of Jerusalem. The indictment states that the terrorists, whose motives were racist and nationalistic, hurled Molotov cocktails at the house and also set fire to the Yoshvaev family’s car several times. Two other terrorists, one adult and one minor, were sentenced to two and a half years’ and six months’ imprisonment, respectively, for their part in the attack.

Honenu Attorney Chayim Bleicher, who is representing the family, stated, “Sentences have been handed down to terrorists who carried out several attacks on the Yoshvaev family. The penalties show progress in the penalization of terror squads operating in East Jerusalem as compared to the willful powerlessness of the authorities that had been customary until now. However, the penalties are still insufficient. After all, these terrorists did not refrain from any means in their attempts to burn down the house, even when the family, including the children, was at home. Significantly more stringent penalties are necessary in the war on terror, which is crucial for the security of all of us. We will demand that the State Attorney’s Office appeal the sentences and increase the penalization of the terrorists.”

Several terrorists hurled Molotov cocktails at the home of the Yoshvaev family in the Shimon HaTzadik neighborhood of Jerusalem in February 2022. The flames set fire to the home, and the fire was particularly fierce in the children’s bedroom. Fortunately, the family was not at home at the time. For this incident and other attacks on the family’s house, Haj Mahmud and Jabari were indicted for arson, weapon production, carrying a weapon, racially and maliciously motivated damage, attempted arson as an act of terror, aggravated assault as an act of terror, and operating a weapon as an act of terror.

Since Operation Guardian of the Walls, the Yoshvaev family has suffered close to 20 acts of terror including fireworks shot from point-blank range at their sukka while Tal was sleeping in it, nine vehicular arson attacks, two Molotov cocktails thrown at their house, an array of fireworks launched at their yard, and many bottles of paint thrown at their car. For more details, see here and here. In February, the police closed off the home of the Yoshvaev family to guests and visitors, including workers who were needed to repair arson damage. The barriers were removed in March in light of a petition to the High Court of Justice.

Arson damage; Video courtesy of the family

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