Parents: Tal Was Terror Victim

The parents of Tal Zino say their daughter was murdered in a terrorist attack and not killed in a traffic accident.

Maayana Miskin,

Tal Zino, z"l
Tal Zino, z"l
photo: file

Yechiel and Chana Zino of Kfar Tabor said Sunday that their daughter Tal, who was killed a year earlier when she was run down by an Arab driver, was murdered in a terrorist attack. In an interview with Yediot Aharonot the parents explained that despite the prosecution's decision to charge the driver with manslaughter, they are convinced that the killing was intentional.

Tal Zino was killed on Yom Kippur as she played near the local synagogue. Assad Shibli and Mohammed Shibli, from the nearby village of Arab a-Shibli, entered the town while driving an ATV (all-terrain vehicle) at high speed. They plunged into the crowd of children outside the synagogue, killing Tal, and then drove away.
Charges were reduced in part in order to maintain peaceful relations between Arab a-Shibli and Kfar Tabor.

Prosecutors originally accused the two of murder, but later decided they lacked sufficient evidence to prove that the attack had been planned in advance. The Zinos expressed understanding, saying they would prefer the two to be convicted of manslaughter than to be found innocent on charges of murder and walk free. However, they said, it is important for the public to hear what really happened from residents of Kfar Tabor who witnessed the event. “These things must be said, in order to prevent future occurrences,” Yechiel explained.

The charges were reduced in part in order to maintain peaceful relations between Arab a-Shibli and Kfar Tabor, the couple said. Residents of Arab a-Shibli were furious over the allegations of murder leveled at Mohammed and Assad Shibli last year, and said that Jews would not have faced murder charges in a similar incident.

Chaya said she has attended the Shiblis' trial despite the pain it causes her, in hopes that her presence will encourage the judges to give a heavy sentence. She promised Tal that she would do everything in her power to bring her killers to justice, she added.

Residents of Kfar Tabor held a memorial ceremony for Tal this week, one year after her death. Her parents spoke at the event, as did her older sister Shachar and her classmates.

While the idea of using an intentional traffic accident as a form of attack was relatively unknown in 2007, the technique has since gained notoriety due to recent attacks in Jerusalem. Arab drivers have run down Jewish motorists and pedestrians in the capital city three times in the past four months, leading to three deaths and dozens of injuries.



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