Parole denied to Palestinian in rock-throwing attack that led to toddler’s death

Review board says prisoner, one of 5 assailants behind bars for 2013 attack from which Adele Bitton died two years later, ‘remains a danger’ to the public

Adele Bitton. (Courtesy)
Adele Bitton. (Courtesy)

An Israeli parole board on Monday rejected a request for early release by a Palestinian imprisoned for a stone-throwing attack that severely injured 2-year-old Adele Bitton and and caused her death two years later.

The prisoner was one of five Palestinians convicted for hurling rocks at a car driven by Adva Bitton as she traveled with her daughter through the West Bank in March 2013. The stone-throwing caused her to veer from her lane and crash into a truck, with her then-2-year-old daughter sustaining serious brain damage. Adele Bitton died two years later from a lung infection linked to a neurological condition that developed as a result of the attack, according to hospital officials.

The assailants — Muhammad Suleiman, Tamer Souf, Ammar Souf, Ali Shamlawi and Muhammad Kleib — were handed 15-year prison sentences in January 2016. The five, from the northern West Bank village of Kifl Haris, were all minors at the time of the attack. They all admitted involvement but later argued they confessed under duress.

The name of the Palestinian seeking parole from his manslaughter sentence was not included in the board’s decision and a court issued a gag order on publishing it.

“The committee believes that the prisoner remains a danger [to the public] and therefore rejects the request,” the parole board wrote in the ruling.

Adva Bitton, who appeared before the parole board, fumed in an interview Sunday that the assailant was allowed to request an early release from prison.

“In what kind of civilized country does this exist,” she said to the Kan public broadcaster.

Adva Bitton, at the funeral of her 4-year-old daughter Adele on February 18, 2015. (photo credit: Yonatan Sindel/FLASH90)

She also said prison was not a sufficient penalty for those convicted of her daughter’s death.

“A person who murdered should not be be behind bars at a five-star prison in Israel,” said Bitton, a resident of the Yakir settlement. “The death penalty is needed.”

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