The court will sentence the two Arabs who stabbed Reuven Shmerling to death on his 70th birthday in Kfar Kassem last year.
Family members intend to read the judges a heartfelt letter in which they beg that the terrorists' sentencing be harsh and that their inclusion in a prisoner exchange deal be disallowed.
"My beloved partner, the man of grace and joy, the man of prayer and action, will not return," wrote widow Hannah Shmerling in her letter as reported this morning in the Yediot Ahronot newspaper.
"The terrorists, Palestinians between the ages of 19 and 20, entered Israel to brutally murder a Jew solely because he's a Jew! Israeli law determines they get life sentences, and I wonder: Is that so? And under what conditions? After all, the sad reality is known to all of us: As the years pass, the President will commute their sentences, and when they're released they'll be forty, still young and with their entire lives ahead of them. And us? With us what's dear in life has been cut off, collapsed, and won't return."
Reuven is survived by four children: Shai Shmerling (36), Yonit Tsafrir (44), Idit Betzer (46), Shiri Brand (47), and 19 grandchildren.
Shmerling's family will arrive at the hearing with the letter they wrote, asking to read it to the justices: "Toughening the terrorists' prison conditions, who murder deliberately, only because of their hatred for Israeli citizens, will serve as an important bargaining chip against the terrorist organizations that, as we know, don't respect any international law, and would therefore constitute a real deterrent. Isn't this the purpose of the law? As a person whose world has been destroyed, I call upon you: Please don't be kind to the murderers, and perhaps we'll be able to deter and even prevent the next murder, the destruction of another family!"
The family asks all concerned to ensure the murderers sit behind bars until their last day, and not be freed in any deal or arrangement.