Participants in infamous 2015 ‘hate wedding’ avoid jail time, get community service

Jerusalem Magistrate’s Court hands five guests who mocked victim of Jewish terror attack sentences ranging from 200 hours to five months of community work

Screenshot from a video showing extremist Israeli Jewish wedding-goers celebrating the killing of the Dawabsha family. (screen capture: Channel 10)
Screenshot from a video showing extremist Israeli Jewish wedding-goers celebrating the killing of the Dawabsha family. (screen capture: Channel 10)

The Jerusalem Magistrate’s Court on Thursday sentenced five men to community service for participating in the so-called 2015 “hate wedding” during which revelers were filmed mocking the victim of a Jewish terror attack in which members of a Palestinian family were burned alive.

In the footage, wedding guests were seen waving guns, knives and a mock Molotov cocktail as a song about biblical vengeance blasted in the background. One of the attendees had printed a picture of 18-month-old terror victim Ali Dawabsha, waving it in the air and stabbing it with a knife as attendees danced furiously.

Dawabsha was killed along with his parents in the 2015 attack in the West Bank village of Duma. His four-year-old brother was severely injured but managed to survive.

The footage shocked much of the country and was roundly condemned, though all of the participants have managed to avoid jail time. National Security Minister Itamar Ben Gvir once served as defense counsel for one of the defendants.

In Thursday’s ruling, Judge Eitan Cohen sentenced Daniel Pinner, who was convicted last year of incitement to violence, incitement to racism and illegal possession of a weapon, to five months of community service.

Shmuel Fein and Yehudiya Sohki, who were also convicted of incitement to violence, were handed four months of community service each. Lighter sentences of 200 hours community service were handed to Dov Morell and Tal Naveh, who were also convicted of incitement to violence.

Explaining his reasoning behind the seemingly light sentencing, Cohen noted the young age of the defendants, which made them impressionable to their extreme surroundings. The judge also noted that several of the defendants had disavowed their actions. One of them, Morell, has spoken publicly of how the incident led him to drastically change his worldview.

He said that he had been barred from reaching out to the Dawabsha family in order to apologize while the case remained open, but now that it was over he was already working to do so.

In April, two other guests at the wedding were sentenced, including the groom Yakir Ashbel, who received four months of community service. Zvi Yehuda Zlatkin was given 180 hours of community service.

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