Severe Injury and not Attempted Murder

The District Court: An Arab who tried to murder a Jew with a stone will not be convicted of attempted murder

The District Court in Haifa ruled that an Arab who participated in the brutal lynching of Mordechai Katz in Acre during the "Operation Guardian of the Walls" and threw stones at him from point-blank range is not guilty of attempted murder but rather of severe injury. Attorney Chaim Bleicher, representing the victim's, stated: "The facts of the case are clear to the judges, and the actions of the accused are unambiguous. We expect that a severe punishment will be imposed on the terrorist during the sentencing phase"

(Photo: Yonatan Sindel/Flash 90)

The Haifa District Court this morning (Thursday) convicted Haviv Abu Haviv, who participated in the brutal lynching of Mordechai Katz in Acre during "Operation Guardian of the Walls" and threw stones at him from point-blank range, of committing a terror act of severe intentional injury and not an attempted murder offense. Havid was also convicted of offenses of attempting to cause harm under aggravating circumstances, motivated by racist motives and rioting.

In the verdict, the judges describe the brutal lynching in which Haviv participated: "On May 12, 2021, the defendant joined a group of masked young Arabs who had hostile intentions, and together they threw stones at Jews passing by. At that time, the complainant participated in a procession on a nearby street, and at a certain point, groups of young Jews and Arabs began throwing stones at each other. Feeling endangered, the complainant decided to leave the scene. While the complainant was running down the street, the defendant noticed him while holding a stone, picked up another stone from the road, ran towards him, and from a distance of two meters, forcefully threw the stone towards the complainant's upper body."

(Documentation of the lynching)

As a result of one of the stones hitting his head, the complainant fell to the ground. At that point, at least six Arab rioters assaulted him using stones, sticks, and kicks all over his body, while the accused stood over the complainant and threw another stone at him. Jewish citizens and a police officer came to the complainant's aid, with the officer firing into the air to disperse the assailants. This caused the accused and the others to stop attacking the complainant and flee the scene.

Attorney Chaim Bleicher from the organization Chonenu, which represents Mordechai Katz, responded to the court's decision and said, "The terrorist threw a stone at Mordechai, and after Mordechai was lying on the ground in a state of unconsciousness, the terrorist took another stone in his hand and hurled it forcefully towards the injured person. However, by a miracle, the stone missed Mordechai and did not worsen his condition to a more severe or even fatal outcome."

"If it's not attempted murder then what is attempted murder"?

"We regret the verdict that did not convict of attempted murder. The facts of the case are before the panel of judges and the defendant's actions are unequivocal and we expect that during the punishment phase the terrorist will be given a severe punishment since even in the current offense it is possible to be sentenced to 25 years in prison. We thank the prosecutor's office, and especially attorney Ohad Cohen, who went to the end in demanding the conviction of the terrorist for attempted murder. We will continue to come to the hearings and demand justice in dealing with the terrorists."

Mordechai Katz criticized the judges' decision and said, "After I was not willing for over two years to reach an agreement on a plea deal, thanks to the attorney Ohad Cohen's respect for my wishes, the court determined that such a cruel and deadly attack is not an attempted murder. If this is not an attempted murder, then what is? If it weren't for the police officers Moshe Sheli, Chen Cohen, and other civilians, it would have been clear to everyone that the terrorists would not have provided me with any first aid.

"Only one terrorist out of the entire murderous gang that attacked me. Does the court really want to fight terrorism, or just mark a checkbox? When the court wants, it can. I leave with a feeling that the court is not doing everything it can or perhaps it doesn't really want to eradicate terrorism."

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