The military court on Tuesday sentenced Muhammad Badwan, the terrorist who committed the attack in which Ayala Shapira was seriously injured on December 24, 2014, to 18 years in prison and fined him NIS 50,000 ($14,200).
During the attack, Badwan threw a Molotov cocktail that set fire to the vehicle in which Ayala Shapira and her father Avner, a commputer expert, were traveling. Ayala, who was then 11 years old and on her way home from an advanced mathematics class for gifted youngsters, suffered severe burns from the attack and was hospitalized for eight months.
She fought for her life for the first few weeks in isolation and intensive care and made a miraculous recovery. However, she is still required to wear a mask to prevent scarring from the skin grafts she has undergone, and she cannot be exposed to the sun. She has years of surgery and therapy ahead of her.
The court found Badwan guilty of the attempted murder of Ayala and her father.
Ayala has vowed to not allow her injuries to stop her from fulfilling her dreams. Her supportive parents, extended family and five younger sisters agree.
In March, Ayala gave an interview with Yediot Aharonot in which she described her plans for the future and stated that she is "still beautiful" despite her injuries.
"I can't say, 'I want to be beautiful,' because it means that today I'm not beautiful, and that's not true. Of course there are people who are much prettier than me, like my sister Yiska, who is just perfect, but external beauty is not everything in life," Ayala said.
Ealier this year, she and her mother were guests of the European Parliament pro-Judea and Samaria lobby, in a meeting arranged by Samaria Regional Council head Yossi Dagan,, where she received a standing ovation for her speech.