Ahmad Manasra, who stabbed a Jewish boy his age in Pisgat Ze’ev in October 2015, appeals punishment of 12 years in prison; terrorist’s lawyer says he should have been sent to rehabilitation instead; victims’ lawyer says punishment is too light.

A 14-year-old Palestinian who stabbed a Jewish boy in the Pisgat Ze’ev neighborhood of Jerusalem in October 2015 and attempted to stab a second person appealed his sentence to the Supreme Court on Thursday.

The Jerusalem District court convicted Ahmad Manasra, who was 13 at the time of the attack, on two counts of attempted murder, sentenced him to 12 years in prison and ordered him to pay damages to the victims’ families.

The attack, which occurred as part of a wave of stabbings around the capital that began on Rosh Hashana, aroused particular ire in Israeli society, both due to the attackers’ young age and because most of the incident was caught by security cameras.

Ahmad Manasra in court (Photo: Amit Shabi)
Ahmad Manasra in court (Photo: Amit Shabi)


Lea Tsemel, Manasra’s lawyer, said her client should have faced lesser charges, adding that a 12-year sentence was too stringent given the boy’s age. Rather, she said the the defendant should have been sent for “rehabilitation” using “peaceful methods.”

The families of the victims, meanwhile, were angry prosecutors refused to appeal the 12-year sentence, a relatively light punishment considering the fact Israeli law provides for far greater penalties, including decades in prison.

“The prosecution’s behavior allowed Lea Tsemel to come in here with bizarre claims, because she has nothing to lose,” said attorney Itamar Ben-Gvir, who represents the victims. “After all, she knows full well it won’t harm her clients at all because the prosecution hasn’t even asked for a harsher sentence. It’s completely out of control. A 14-year-old kid and his friend try to kill Jews, but the State Attorney’s Office treats the case as if it were a simple case of shoplifting.

“With such light sentencing requests by the prosecution, why is anyone surprised more and more minors are joining the ranks of terrorists and trying to murder Jews?” said Ben-Gvir.

As reported by Ynetnews