Monday, October 7, 2019, 14:08 On Monday, October 7, the Ofer Military Appellate Court accepted the appeal filed by the Military Advocate General with regards to the leniency of the penalty imposed on the terrorist who stabbed and seriously injured Nirit Zemora in a terror attack at the Etzion Bloc Intersection parking lot on October 28, 2015. The terrorist, who was initially convicted only of aggravated assault, has been convicted of attempted murder.
Judge Colonel Netanel Benisho, the President of the Military Court of Appeals, maintained that the nationalist motivation behind the attack reinforces the intent of the terrorist to kill Zemora, and also rejected the uncertainties raised by the first court concerning the details of the incident. Judge Benisho also ruled that the knife breaking is not cause to doubt the terrorist’s intent.
Honenu Attorney Bleicher, after the verdict was announced; Video credit: Honenu
Honenu Attorney Chayim Bleicher, who is assisting Nirit Zemora as a victim of terror, stated, “We welcome the decision of the Military Appellate Court and the ruling that the nationalist motivation behind the stabbing is sufficient to indicate the intent of the terrorist. The appellate court justly expressed common sense and the understanding of what the State of Israel and its citizens face: murderous terrorists. We must use all means possible, including judicial means, to create a genuine deterrent against terror. We expect the military court to sentence the terrorist to many years’ imprisonment.”
At the May 20 deliberation on the appeal, Nirit Zemora turned to the judges and described the moments of the attack, how the terrorist tried to remove the knife from her back, and how she and her family have been coping since then.
“I felt a strong blow to my back. To this day I remember the sound of that unusual blow. I was surprised and I exclaimed something, while the assailant was still pulling at something in my back. Later, I understood that he had made an attempt to remove the knife from my back. I felt my left leg becoming weak and I collapsed on the spot. From eye witnesses I heard that the murderer called out ‘Allah hu akbar’ and ran with a knife raised. Since then my family and I have been coping with all of the ramifications of the attack and the injury.”
Zemora added, “I say to you, attacking a woman from behind is an act of cowardice. The injury was close to my heart. This was an act of contempt towards every family in Israel. The People of Israel is eternal; one can harm only individuals. I ask the court to impose the maximum penalty in situations such a this. I wonder who is willing to defend this murderer. I am certain that the People of Israel and all humankind will prevail.”
After the deliberation Zemora described her impressions, which were proved accurate by today’s verdict: “This time the general feeling seems to me to be positive. I hope very much that I am not mistaken, because last time I was very disappointed. I left with very painful feelings. I hope that this time the truth will come to light. At this opportunity I would like to thank the Honenu organization, in particular Chayim [Bleicher], and the Military Advocate General, who have done excellent work.”
Nirit Zemora, speaking after the verdict was announced; Video credit: Honenu