Only 4.5 years in prison for perpetrator

Jewish tourist attacked by terrorist in Old City seeks to appeal punishment imposed on terrorist - only 4.5 years in prison.

Arutz Sheva Staff ,

Hezki Baruch

A Jewish tourist who was attacked by a terrorist in the Old City of Jerusalem about a year ago seeks to appeal the light sentence imposed on the terrorist of only four-and-a-half years.

The terrorist threw a cinder block on the tourist's head from four meters high. The blow was dampened by a helmet he wore under his hat. The terrorist was convicted of aggravated intent to cause death and sentenced to the imprisonment for which the tourist seeks to appeal his leniency.

In a letter sent by Attorney Chaim Bleicher from the Honeinu organization representing the victim to the State Attorney's Office regarding the appeal to the Supreme Court for the leniency of the sentence, it was written that "My client was saved from death almost certainly by a miracle, for he wore a special helmet hat. The assailant was apprehended and charged by the Jerusalem District Prosecution on charges of sabotage with aggravated intent."

Bleicher said he asked the State Attorney's Office to change the indictment to "attempted murder for racial reasons," but the request was denied "on the grounds that the evidence does not contain evidence beyond any doubt the motive was racist, although there is no other motive beyond my client being a Jew who lives in the Old City." he said.

Bleicher added that the prosecution requested that he be sentenced to seven years in prison, but was sentenced to only 4.5 years in prison. The easy punishment created harsh feelings within the victim, as the law was not used to the full extent with the terrorist.

"After all there was a clear attempt to murder my client solely because he was a Jew. The act of the terrorist was done with the unbridled cruelty of trying to smash a man's head with a huge Jerusalem stone building block. My client was miraculously saved from almost certain death because the hat he wore was a helmet, which the terrorist didn't know. There's no doubt that in essence this was a brutal attack, an attempted murder of racist and nationalist motive."

Bleicher concluded the letter: "In view of the nature of the acts of the terrorist, the court should have imposed a much higher sentence and even close to the maximum level of the offense for which he was convicted, ie, 20 years, and therefore I ask you to appeal in the name of the State of Israel against the lenient punishment verdict against the terrorist."

In the verdict, the judge wrote that the offense was premeditated. "At first the defendant noticed the victim and afterward he took the trouble to climb the roof of one of the houses, where he took a large stone and slammed it into the complainant's head," the ruling said. The judge also said the defendant could have changed his mind, but nevertheless committed the crime. "The defendant is responsible for committing a full and undeniable offense. Perpetrating the offense was the result of the defendant's decision, no one influenced him to execute it, and no one assisted him in its execution.

"The damage that could have been caused as a result of the commission of the offense is extreme. The defendant did not throw a stone, but a large building block. The stone was not just tossed, but was dropped from a height of four meters onto the complainant's head, the proof being that it smashed."

The decision also mentioned the helmet that saved the victim's life. "There's no doubt that if the complainant had not worn a helmet, he would have caused much more serious damage, and it is impossible to rule out the reasonable possibility that he would have lost his life, Heaven forbid." It was also noted that the helmet was hidden under a hat, so the defendant could not have known in advance that the injury would not be so severe.

Despite this, the State Attorney's Office decided to prosecute the defendant on charges of sabotage with aggravated intent only. In addition, the racist and nationalist section was also removed from the indictment, and from the point of view of the prosecutor's office, the motive of the act is unknown. Attorney Chaim Bleicher of the Honenu organization filed a request on behalf of the injured tourist to the State Attorney's Office to appeal the leniency of the sentence.

Attorney Bleicher said: "This is a brutal murder attempt on a nationalistic background. Unfortunately, our appeal at the beginning of the process for amending the indictment was not accepted by the prosecution. In any case, the description of the facts in the indictment in which the terrorist was convicted shows a picture of an attempted terrorist attack that only miraculously ended in light injury. The court should have imposed on the terrorist a penalty much higher than 4.5 years. We expect the State Attorney's Office to appeal the leniency of the sentence."