The Jerusalem Magistrate’s Court on Tuesday convicted the groom and six other attendees at a 2015 wedding who were filmed celebrating the murder of a Palestinian baby.
Footage from the so-called “hate wedding,” aired by Channel 10 news in 2015, showed dozens of far-right guests celebrating by mocking the deadly attack on a Palestinian family in the West Bank village of Duma, waving guns, knives and a mock Molotov cocktail. One of the attendees printed out a picture of Ali Dawabsha, the 18-month-old who was killed in the firebombing several months earlier, along with his parents, waved it in the air and stabbed it with a knife, as attendees danced furiously.
The seven defendants were convicted of incitement to violence and terror, while the wedding singer, who led some of the songs using Jewish texts referring to revenge, was acquitted due to lack of evidence against him.
“I found that the provocative nature of the event cannot be denied. A call for revenge against Arabs — all before everyone present at the wedding,” Judge Itai Cohen wrote in his decision, adding that those scoffing at its severity should imagine how they would have reacted had the revelers swapped Dawabsha’s photo for one of a Jewish baby.
“This was a demonstration of joy in connection to the murder of innocent people, while songs with provocative messaging calling for revenge were played, riling up attendees,” Cohen wrote.
Dov Moral, who was among the seven convicted, said in a statement Tuesday that he continues to regret his participation in the incident that shocked much of the country, but argued that there was selective enforcement by Israeli authorities and that the actions did not rise to a criminal offense.
Last September, a Jerusalem juvenile court acquitted five other suspects who were at the wedding, with the judge arguing that the minors’ participation in the dancing could not necessarily be interpreted as support for harming the Dawabsha family. He also noted their age and the fact that some of them were drunk.