Two terrorists behind deadly 2016 stabbing sentenced to 32, 35 years
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Two terrorists behind deadly 2016 stabbing sentenced to 32, 35 years

Third Palestinian involved in attack that killed off-duty soldier Tuvia Yanai Weissman at West Bank supermarket was sentenced to 35 years in December

Judah Ari Gross is The Times of Israel's military correspondent.

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

Two Palestinian teenage terrorists who stabbed to death off-duty soldier Tuvia Yanai Weissman and seriously wounded another Israeli man in 2016 were sentenced to 35 and 32 years in prison on Wednesday, the army said.

A third terrorist involved in the plot was sentenced late last year to 35 years in prison and ordered to pay a NIS 1.25 million ($330,000) fine.

The military prosecution requested life sentences for all three, but that was denied by the court, which noted that the terrorists were minors at the time of the attack. Prosecutors are expected to appeal the ruling and again request life sentences.

The two assailants sentenced on Wednesday were convicted of carrying out the deadly stabbing attack in a West Bank supermarket. The third was involved in the planning and intended to take part in the attack, but was turned away by the store’s security guard.

All three were charged with “intentionally causing death,” the equivalent of murder in Israel’s military court system, along with other, lesser offenses.

One of the knives used in a stabbing attack at a supermarket in the Sha’ar Binyamin industrial park, north of Jerusalem, on February 18, 2016. (Israel Police)

The two men who were sentenced Wednesday were also ordered to pay NIS 2.5 million ($660,000) in damages to the families of the victims.

On the night of February 18, 2016, the three Palestinian teenagers arrived at the Rami Levy supermarket in the Sha’ar Binyamin industrial area, armed with knives.

Security camera footage from that evening show that a security guard turned one of the teens away, but let the other two into the store without a search.

Inside the market, they began stabbing an Israeli man, seriously wounding him.

Weissman, a dual Israeli-US citizen and resident of the West Bank settlement of Ma’ale Mikhmas, was shopping with his wife, Yael, and four-month-old daughter, Neta, during the attack.

Friends seen mourning after the funeral of Tuvia Yanai Wisman, at the Mount Herzl military cemetery in Jerusalem, on February 18, 2016. (Hadas Parush/Flash90)

Weissman, who was unarmed as he was on leave, rushed the assailants and tried to stop them. During the fight, he was fatally wounded and died in Jerusalem’s Shaare Zedek Medical Center shortly thereafter.

The two stabbers attempted to flee the scene, but were shot and injured by an armed civilian and arrested. The third suspect was arrested a few days later.

Weissman was posthumously awarded a meritorious citation for bravery for fighting the terrorists while unarmed.

“Sgt. Weissman wasted no time and ran toward the place where the shouts were coming from, leaving his wife and baby daughter alone. Once he realized what was happening, Sgt. Weissman didn’t hesitate and charged barehanded at the two terrorists, fought with them, and tried to arrest them,” Maj. Gen. Roni Numa said at the ceremony where he presented the award to Weissman’s widow.

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