The son of an American-Israeli man killed in an October 2015 terror attack called Monday for the removal of a judge who delayed the imprisonment of the gunman behind a deadly shooting in Jerusalem on Sunday.
Micah Lakin Avni, whose father Richard Lakin was murdered last year by two Palestinians on a bus in the capital, wrote to Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked that Jerusalem Magistrate’s Court judge Hagit Mack-Kalmanovitz should be removed after she postponed the terrorist’s prison term out of “considerations for [his] comfort.”
In 2013, the gunman — whose identity is still under gag order — was indicted for assaulting a police officer in Jerusalem’s Old City. The case was dropped that year, but it was reopened in 2015. After reaching a plea deal in May, he was sentenced to four months in prison but Mack-Kalmanovitz agreed to a request to postpone the sentence until October 9. He was due to report to prison on Sunday.
In his letter to Shaked, Lakin Avni says that Mack-Kalmanovitz was not fit to serve as a judge, given the toll her decision had taken on human lives, as well as the damage it caused to the security of the state and the confidence of the public in the justice system.
Likud MK Yehuda Glick also criticized the judge, writing on Twitter Monday morning that despite the fact that Yom Kippur (the Day of Atonement) is this week, he would not forgive her decision. The blood of those killed in Sunday’s attack is on her hands, Glick said.
Glick later walked back at least part of his criticism, saying “I used an inappropriate phrase and I apologize for that.” Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked was reported to have asked Glick to withdraw the criticism of the judiciary.
Following the criticism it was decided to bolster security at both the Jerusalem District and Magistrate’s courts where Mack-Kalmanovitz serves, according to Hebrew media reports. She and another judge related to the case were threatened in Facebook posts, Channel 2 reported.
Glick has a history with Mack-Kalmanovitz, as she was the judge who banned him from the flashpoint Temple Mount complex in October 2014. Glick, who was shot in a terror attack a week after Mack-Kalmanovitz’s ruling in his case, said the judge’s “attempted assassination” hurt him more than his actual attempted murder.
Meanwhile, the family of Hadar Goldin, the fallen IDF soldier whose body is being held by Hamas in Gaza, called on the government not to return the body of the Jerusalem terrorist.
The family said in a statement on the Ynet news website that “the family of the terrorist viewed him as having pledged allegiance to [Hamas military leader] Muhammad Deif, who is holding Hadar and [fallen soldier] Oron Shaul in Gaza. Only by applying pressure will it be possible to return Hadar and Oron to Israel.”