A military court on Tuesday sentenced Mohammed Badwan to 18 years in prison for throwing threw a Molotov cocktail at the vehicle where 11-year-old Ayala Shapira was traveling in December 2014, severely burning her. Badwan was also given a conditional sentence and fined about $14,000.
Badwan was convicted of the attempted murder of Ayala and her father Avner, 45, residents of Ma’ale Shomron, with a Molotov cocktail, as well as of another incident in November 2014 when he threw a Molotov cocktail at an Israeli civilian vehicle but did not cause harm.
Ayala suffered from third-degree burns in 50% of her body. She and her father, who received minor burns, were treated at Sheba Medical Center’s burn unit.
The defendant was arrested on the day of the attack and has been under arrest since then. His partner in crime, who was a minor at the time of the attack, was sentenced in August 2016 to 14 years.
Ruth Shapira, Ayala’s mother, said in response to the sentence that “the terrorist who hit us is not a criminal but an enemy soldier, and not only is he the enemy, but his environment – his parents, his teachers and his friends who encouraged him to take action and back him up. The state must expel the hostile population and not hide behind the appearance of justice. Wars are not conducted in the courts.”
Samaria Regional Council Head Yossi Dagan said in response that “this punishment is ridiculous and insulting. This kind of terrorist must end his life behind bars. We hope that at the very least his punishment will not end in early release in some terrorist swap, or imprisonment with the conditions due a university student.”