Military court acquits terrorist who committed stabbing attack on grounds of lack of proof of intent to kill. Victim of attack is outraged.
The military court in Judea on Wednesday acquitted due to doubt terrorist Hamza Faiz of an attempted murder charge. The terrorist, a resident of Hevron, carried out an attack at the Gush Etzion junction two and a half years ago. He was convicted of aggravated assault.
In the attack, Nirit Zmora, a resident of the area, was seriously wounded after being stabbed in the back. The terrorist ran towards the victim carrying a knife and stabbed her in the parking lot located there, shouting “Allahu Akbar”. Military court judges Lt. Col. Zvi Heilbron, Lt. Col. Eti Adar and Major Haim Balilty acquitted the terrorist of attempted murder, and convicted the terrorist of offenses of aggravated assault and possession of a knife.
Zmora and her family were furious after the judges determined that the terrorist may have intended only to injure. “The existence of a nationalistic motive for the execution of the stabbing does not lead, in and of itself, to the determination that the intention was to bring about the death of the victim,” the judges wrote in their decision.
Nirit Zmora strongly objected to the judges’ decision. “We can’t calm down. Our feeling is that Jewish blood is being cheapened. It is clear to all reasonable people, even based on facts, that the terrorist tried to murder, there is no question here.”
“It’s been two and a half years since I’ve been walking around with a ‘knife in my back.’ My struggle and that of my whole family continues daily and the consequences are heavy. This is a stab in the hearts of all of us, a stab in the hearts of all families harmed by terror and, G-d forbid, in the hearts of future victims, under the auspices of the court,” Zmora added.
“We expected the court to issue a clear and unequivocal statement that a court in the State of Israel does not lend a hand to the murder of Jews, and unfortunately this is not what happened here. It is important for us to emphasize that these things are written with great love for our country, and specifically because of this the shock is so deep.”
Attorney Haim Bleicher of the Honenu legal organization, added that “it is inconceivable that the judges don’t make a connection between the nationalistic intent and the abominable act.”
“A terrorist who stabs a Jew – the mental foundation is clear, his intention was to murder. The acquittal of the terrorist from the charge of attempted murder shows contempt for the victim and contempt for the existential struggle with which the citizens of Israel are coping. We will act so that the military prosecution appeals the verdict, and the injustice is corrected.”
Zmora’s son, Yedidya, wrote a post on his Facebook page following the judges’ ruling. “Today, on the eve of Holocaust Remembrance Day, when we commemorate the murder of Jews just because of their Jewishness, the judges of the Israel Defense Forces do not recognize the murder of a Jewish woman just because of her Jewishness. My mother did not get into a fight with some hooligan – they tried to murder my mother for nationalistic reasons.”
“In the court they still dared to argue about the length of the knife and not accept the prosecutor’s opinion about the length. They only accepted the defense attorney’s argument on the matter. I ask, what difference does it make what the length of the blade was when you planned to murder my mother, make us orphans and my father a widower? According to the testimonies, he ran at my mother with a knife raised in the air, shouting ‘Allahu Akbar.’ What do they think he intended to do?” he wondered.