The High Court has reduced the punishment of a terrorist who killed IDF soldier Gilad Fisher h”yd. Fisher was killed in September 2002 when Hamas terrorists, under cover of heavy fog, attacked an IDF lookout post east of Beit Hanoun in the Gaza Strip.
Mahmed Mehra, a PFLP terrorist, was instrumental in Fisher's murder. Mehra acted as lookout and informed the terror gang that the soldier, a resident of Mitzpe Hoshaya, was within range of attack. Mehra was given 35 years in prison for his assistance in the murder.
However, Mehra appealed to the High Court, claiming that the punishment was “too harsh”- and the court agreed. In a statement, the court said that “we have found that the final decision of the court regarding a 35-year-long sentence veers too harshly from the standard of punishment in such cases.” The court unilaterally lopped 9 years off Mehra's sentence, and he was reissued a new sentence of 26 years. Assuming good behavior, Mehra could be out after serving a total of 17 years.
According to the court, Mehra's role in the murder was not particularly severe, because he only acted as a lookout – a role that others could have taken. “While we do not wish to lessen the severity of security crimes, we must fairly consider the plaintiff's relatively lesser role in the crime,” the court added.
Hedva Fisher, the mother of Gilad, first heard about the decision on Arutz Sheva. Commenting on the decision, she said that “on the one hand we feel helpless, because no decision can bring back Gilad, but on the other hand I am sad and angry at the judges who go easy on terrorists who commit these cruel crimes. This terrorist played a very important role in Gilad's murder.”