Military court increases sentences of Ramallah lynch suspects

Twenty years after a Ramallah lynching, a military court adjusts the sentences of two suspects to reflect changes in the charges against them.

Arutz Sheva Staff ,

Ramallah (illustrative)
Ramallah (illustrative)
Zack Wajsgras/Flash90

Twenty years after a Ramallah lynching, a military court has increased the severity of the punishment for two of those involved in the attack.

Yasser Khateb was handed two life sentences instead of the 40 years he had received initially, while Marwan Ma'adi was handed 22 years instead of his original eight.

According to reports by Galei Zahal, the new sentences were set after the crimes the two were charged with increased in severity.

Khateb was initially charged with two counts of manslaughter, but after an appeal the charges were changed to murder ("intentionally causing death"). Ma'adi, a member of the Hamas terror group, was charged with assault, but his charge was also changed to that of murder.

The lynching, which shocked Israelis, occurred on October 12, 2000, the day after Yom Kippur, when an Arab mob attacked two IDF reservists, Yossi Avrahami and Vadim Norzhich, who had accidentally entered Ramallah. The reservists were beaten, stabbed and tortured until they were dead. Their bodies were then further mutilated. One of the terrorists raised his bloody hands to the window of the room in which the soldies were being tortured and the crowds who had gathered outside roared their approval.

On the day of the lynching, Khateb and Ma'adi two left their place of work when they heard that the IDF soldiers had been caught, and walked towards the police station. They were among the first to break through the gates, rushing in along with the crowd.

Khateb was part of the entire event, and was therefore charged with the murder of both of the soldiers, Yossi Avrahami and Wadim Norzhich, even though he did not hit Norzhich and was only a witness to his attack. Ma'adi made his way through, punched Norzhich, and left. The judges decided to charge him with murder as well.

According to Galei Zahal, the terrorists have also been ordered to compensate the victims' families. Khateb will pay 200,000 shekel, while Ma'adi was ordered to pay 50,000. The two have already served nearly nine years in prison; were it not for the increase in his sentence, Ma'adi would have already been released.