Court Reduces Sentence of Terrorist Prisoner

Military judge reduces the sentence imposed on a terrorist in an Israeli prison, blaming detention conditions for encouraging terrorism.

Arutz Sheva Staff ,

Prisoners in Ofer jail (archive)
Prisoners in Ofer jail (archive)
Israel News photo: Flash 90

A military judge has reduced the sentence imposed on a terrorist in an Israeli prison, Haaretz reports.

According to the report the judge, Amir Dahan, claimed that the detention conditions of terrorists do not allow them to rehabilitate themselves and are instead a “fertile ground” for planning acts of terrorism.

The terrorist in question is Saber Abu Diab, a 32-year-old resident of the Palestinian Authority town of Qalqiliya, who was sentenced to 11 years in prison for a series of offenses, both ones related to terrorism as well as financial ones, and continued to plan terrorist attacks while in prison.

Abu Diab recruited another inmate, who was about to be released, and the two planned to kidnap a soldier and blow up a plane. He also owned a mobile device while in prison, through which he connected with the outside world and asked terror groups to kidnap an IDF soldier in order to secure his release.

According to the report in Haaretz, the military prosecutor asked the Shomron Military Court to impose an additional sentence on Abu Diab for his activities in prison, while the defense argued that since the planned attacks ultimately were not carried out, the terrorist should not receive additional time in prison.

In his ruling, Dahan accepted the defense’s arguments, writing that “the planned attacks are serious,” but noted that their feasibility was greatly reduced because they were planned from a prison. “A person who sits in jail and tells his friends how to kill using a door handle, how to dig a tunnel under the Jordan River and how to operate a terror attack on airplane embodies dangerous behavior, but it is low,” said the judge.

Commenting on the conduct of the Israeli Prisons Service, Dahan further wrote that "the conduct of law enforcement is grounds for leniency.” He added that detention without providing prisoners with a framework for rehabilitation is “incentive for organizational activities and conspiracy-related conversations."

"A man who is imprisoned for a long time with members of his organization, has an imposed symbiotic relationship with the organization with little chance to end the relationship with it, may even want to” plan terrorist attacks, added Dahan.

According to Haaretz, Dahan, who wanted to reduce Abu Diab’s sentence to 85 months in prison, remained in the minority when two other judges, Ari Tibbon and Daniel Keinan, decided to be even more lenient with Abu Diab and sentence him to 48 months in prison.

Dahan’s puzzling ruling joins a previous Haaretz report which said that the same judge acquitted four PA Arabs from charges of attempted murder after they threw rocks at vehicles, stating that rock throwing “can bear the character of a serious and deadly offense, which endangers human life with near certainty, but could also be a prank without potential damage by a young man who barely passed the age of criminal responsibility.”

Just last week, an Israeli court decided to release a terrorist who planned a 2002 suicide attack in a Tel Aviv café.

The Military Court of Appeals ruled that Jamal Tirawi, formerly a member of the Al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigade terror group and currently a member of the Palestinian Legislative Council on behalf of Fatah, will be released because Israel had violated an agreement with the Palestinian Authority in which it agreed not to arrest Tirawi.

Tirawi sent the suicide bomber who carried out the terrorist attack in the “My Coffee Shop” in Tel Aviv in March of 2002. An Israeli woman, Rachel Tcherkhi, was killed in the bombing and 29 others were wounded.

Following his release, Tirawi was interviewed by Israeli television and claimed that he had nothing to do with the terror attack.