Palestinian who killed Israeli in West Bank supermarket gets 35 years in prison

Family of Tuvia Yanai Weissman expresses disappointment after military court rules against life in prison, due to fact that the shooter was a minor at time of attack

Tuvia Yanai Weissman, 21, an IDF soldier who was killed in a stabbing attack in a West Bank supermarket on February 18, 2016. (Courtesy)
Tuvia Yanai Weissman, 21, an IDF soldier who was killed in a stabbing attack in a West Bank supermarket on February 18, 2016. (Courtesy)

The Judea Military Court on Sunday sentenced one of two Palestinian terrorists who killed an Israeli man at a West Bank supermarket almost three years ago to 35 years in prison.

The assailant, whose name was not released due to the fact that he was a minor at the time of the attack, was also fined NIS 1.25 million ($330,000) and given a three-year suspended sentence. He was convicted of intentional killing, the military equivalent of murder.

Tuvia Yanai Weissman had been shopping with his family at a supermarket in the Sha’ar Binyamin industrial zone on February 18, 2016, when two Palestinian terrorists began attacking customers. Weissman , a 21-year-old off-duty soldier and another man were seriously wounded in the attack; doctors at Jerusalem’s Shaare Zedek Medical Center pronounced Weissman dead a few hours later.

As he was off-duty at the time, the Nahal Brigade soldier was without a service weapon, but nevertheless fought the attackers “barehanded,” the army said in a statement explaining the decision to posthumously award Weissman a medal of bravery.

Tuvia Yanai Weissman with his wife Yael and 4-month-old daughter. Weissman was stabbed to death by Palestinian terrorists at a West Bank supermarket on February 18, 2016. (Facebook)

The victim’s father, Avraham Weissman, said in a statement following Sunday’s ruling that the family was “disappointed” by the decision, saying he deserves “at least a life sentence.”

“This terrorist not only stabbed the victim, he also initiated the attack, which is very serious,” he says. “I think he doesn’t deserve any less than what my son received, which was [a punishment that lasts] forever. A more stringent punishment would’ve contributed to deterrence.”

The right-wing Honenu legal aid group also slammed the sentence, saying the teenager should have been jailed for life and that “every time a terrorist gets a reduced punishment it harms deterrence and strengthens terror.”

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