Major Eliav Gelman
Major Eliav GelmanIDF Spokesman

On Monday morning the Ofer military court sentenced the terrorist who murdered Major Eliav Gelman in an attack at the Gush Etzion junction in 2016 to 35 years in prison.

The judges refrained from imposing a life sentence on the terrorist despite his murder conviction, due to his "mental state."

The sentence comes after the terrorist was initially convicted of manslaughter and sentenced to 30 years in prison. The military advocate general appealed the decision, and the Court of Appeals accepted the appeal and convicted the terrorist of murder.

Eyal Gelman, Eliav's brother, responded to the verdict. "We were shocked to hear that the court decided not to sentence the despicable terrorist to life imprisonment. The reality is that we have come to the court from a long reserve service, in which we fought terrorism and evil that is trying to uproot us from our country, to see the terrorist receive a sentence that is lenient with this murderer. This shocking sentence is a catastrophic precedent which makes it easier for all the Nukhba murderers."

"Will the Nukhba terrorists now see the light of day? Will the families of the murdered have to go through the suffering we went through? This is a serious blow to the Jewish people's war against evil. The people of Israel must come to their senses. The law regarding terrorists must change. It is inconceivable that the legal process for terrorists will continue to be embracing. This is not how you defeat an enemy. This is not how you win a war. I am sure that the people of Israel will come to their senses and win. Terrorists must die everywhere and as soon as possible," he added.

Attorney Haim Bleicher of Honenu, who is providing the Gelman family with legal services, said, "This sentence is a disgrace that impairs the entire battle against terrorism. The court continues the erroneous approach of the first instance and chooses not to impose a life sentence on the terrorist, but only 35 years in prison. The judges' explanations that the terrorist suffers from mental illness are unacceptable. Any terrorist who tries to murder Jews is suddenly defined as mentally ill. In the face of terrorism, we fight, we don't look for reasons to make it easier."

"How is it possible that the judges are dealing with the terrorist's illness and not saving the people of Israel from despicable murderers? The justices ruled that since Eliav was wounded by the soldiers' gunfire, the terrorist's sentence should be commuted. Perhaps the sentence of the October 7th terrorists should also be commuted? It's time to change the approach and not judge terrorists by criminal standards. The court's injury towards the Gelman family and the people of Israel is inexcusable. We expect the prosecution to appeal the verdict; the time has come to change the law against terrorists," Bleicher concluded.