(July 5, 2020 / JNS) On June 24, Asem Barghouti was sentenced to four consecutive life sentences by the military court near Jerusalem. Barghouti, together with his brother, Salach Barghouti, carried out a premeditated terrorist attack at a bus stop outside the community of Ofra on Dec. 9, 2018, the eighth night of Hanukkah.
Our daughter, Shira Ish-Ran, who was seven months pregnant at the time, was critically wounded in the attack. Our son-in-law, Amichai Ish-Ran, who was standing next to her, was moderately wounded, with three bullets hitting him in the leg. Five others were lightly to moderately wounded.
At the hospital, Shira’s life was saved. However, the medical team was forced to perform an emergency C-section. Due to the trauma and loss of blood, the baby died after only three days. Shira and Amichai named their baby son Amiad Yisrael–my nation of Israel is forever.
A few days after the attack, Israeli security forces eliminated the driver, Salach Barghouti. The next day, his brother, Assam, perpetrated another terrorist attack—at the Givat Assaf junction on the way to Beit El—murdering two soldiers, Yovel Mor-Yosef and Yossi Cohen. He further critically injured soldier Netanel Felber and moderately wounded Shira Sabag of Beit El.
A month later, the security forces located Assam Barghouti’s hideout, and arrested him without resistance. He had been assisted by 29 accomplices while on the run. He informed on them all.
What followed was a legal process over the last 18 months that resulted in the sentencing being handed down on June 24. The judges noted that his crimes were among the worst in the law books, and were carried out with premeditation, in cold blood and without compassion.
The court gave him the maximum sentence possible–three life sentences for each of the people he murdered, and an additional life sentence for the wounding and attempted murder of many others. The court also granted financial compensation to the families, each a bit more than $1 million. Unfortunately, this money cannot be collected, as Israel has no legal access to the terrorist’s assets, and right now there is no law existing to enable Israel to appropriate the funds from the Palestinian Authority.
LIFE AFTER TERROR – Yishai talks with Chaim Silberstein about the murder of his grandson and the sentencing of Assam Bargouti
פורסם על ידי Yishai Fleisher ישי פליישר ב- יום רביעי, 1 ביולי 2020
Media outlets, as well as friends and acquaintances, asked us what our reaction is. Together with Shira and Amichai, the following is our response:
• We are grateful to God for sparing our children’s lives in this terror attack through a chain of miracles.
• We continue to grieve for the loss of our first grandson, Amiad Yisrael, and the two soldiers, Yovel Mor-Yosef and Yossi Cohen.
• We continue to pray for the full physical and emotional recovery of those wounded in the attack.
• We commend the Israeli military and security forces for eliminating Salach Barghouti and capturing and bringing to justice the murderer Assam Barghouti.
• We commend the military court for handing down the maximum sentence requested by the prosecution–four consecutive life sentences. We would have preferred the death sentence, which this subhuman terrorist deserves.
• We commend the judges for making the rare statement that, due to the excessive cruelty and ideology of hate and his determination to murder as many Jews as possible, they recommend that no party should cut short his sentence (i.e. through prisoner exchanges).
• No prison sentence will bring our grandson and the two soldiers back, but we hope at least that this vile terrorist, as well as all the other terrorist murderers, never leave prison alive and are never released in any prisoner exchange.
• Our main message to the government and Israel Defense Forces is to increase deterrence in order to minimize, if not prevent, future attacks.
• Deterrence begins by changing the rules of engagement for soldiers and armed citizens, so they can more confidently deal with imminent threats.
Other important deterrent steps:
• Death sentence for convicted terrorist murderers.
• Complete destruction of the homes of terrorists and their families, as well as their accomplices, without the option to rebuild.
• Expulsion of the families and accomplices from their villages, never to return.
• Prevention of “pay for slay” payments by the P.A. to terrorists and their families. Any amounts paid by the P.A. to terrorists’ families must be deducted from the tax payments of the Israeli government to the P.A. and redirected to terrorism victims and their families.
• Reducing the “luxurious” conditions of terrorists in Israeli prisons to the bare minimum required by international law.
• Not to return bodies of eliminated terrorists.
• Canceling national-insurance payments to Israeli terrorists’ families.
• Canceling the citizenship or residency permits, as well as work permits, of terrorists and their family members who collaborated in their acts.
For us, the families of the victims of terrorism, preventing the next attack is the best compensation and consolation we can receive.
We sincerely hope that our government and legal system will heed the cries of the victims and their families, and work with determination to choose life and prevent the next terror attack. It could be any of us.
Chaim Silberstein is president of Keep Jerusalem-Im Eshkachech and the Jerusalem Capital Development Fund. He was formerly a senior adviser to Israel’s minister of tourism.
He and his wife, Liora Silberstein, are the parents of Shira Ish-Ran, who was wounded and lost her unborn child in the Ofra junction shooting attack on Dec. 9, 2018.
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