Shalhevet´s Murderer Handed Three Life-Sentences

A military court handed down three life sentences to Mahmoud Omru, the Fatah-Tanzim terrorist sniper who murdered 10-month-old Shalhevet Pass in a Hevron playground almost three years ago.

, | updated: 6:40 PM

Omru, 28, from Hevron, also helped a female suicide bomber carry out an attack on Jerusalem’s Mahane Yehuda outdoor market in April 2002. Six people were murdered in that attack. He was also involved in several other attempted attacks upon the Jews of Hevron in Tel Romeida, Beit Haggai, Givat Harsina, Ras Al-Jura and Wadi Al-Ariya.

The judges' verdict states: “The picture of the baby who was shot is on our table, engraved in our minds and will not allow our souls to rest. Shalhevet, still an infant in diapers, was sentenced to death by this heinous murderer.”

Shalhevet was shot while in her stroller, next to the Avraham Avinu neighborhood in Hevron. Omru stood on the Abu-Sneineh Hills, overlooking the Jewish neighborhood, and took aim with his sniper rifle, targeting Shalhevet and her father Yitzhak. Shalhevet was killed with a bullet to her head, and her father was hit in the leg. Omru escaped after the attack with the help of Immad Deek, who was later killed in an IDF operation.

Shalhevet’s father, Yitzchak Pass, and her uncle, Matityahu Shvo, are currently serving a two-year sentence in an Israeli prison after being convicted of illegal possession and transport of eight bricks of dynamite. Police claimed the two were planning to use the explosives in attacks against Arabs, but the court ruled that insufficient evidence was brought to corroborate this accusation.

Pass and Shvo were arrested in July 2003 on unspecified "security charges," and were prevented from meeting with their lawyer for over two weeks. Accusations of their "membership in a terrorist organization" were floated, but were never proven. In January of this year, though the prosecution had asked for sentences of six years, the Jerusalem District Court sentenced the pair to only 15 months in prison, in accordance with a plea bargain agreement.

In April, despite the agreement, the Supreme Court accepted the State's appeal, and increased the sentences to two full years in prison for each. They have not been allowed vacation time, and their request for parole has been turned down as well.