Jerusalem District Court Judge Rafi Carmel on Wednesday sentenced to nine years in prison a terrorist who a year and a half ago stabbed two Jews in the Old City of Jerusalem. The family of one of the victims is irate at the light sentence, according to a statement by legal aid society Honenu, even though the terrorist, John Kakish, was convicted of intentional aggravated assault, which is punishable by 20 years.
Judge Carmel said in his ruling that although the case is serious, with the common range for sentencing being between eight and 16 years, he chose to go easy on the defendant because he confessed his crime—which had been documented on CCTV—and claimed as his reason for the stabbing, besides his hatred for Jews, the fact that his sister is an alcoholic junkie. The defendant has a long criminal record, which includes assault.
The prosecution informed the victim’s family that it plans to appeal the light sentence. At the trial the prosecutor asked for 13 to 20 years. Should the terrorist be released for good behavior after serving two thirds of his sentence, combined with time served, he should be out in four and a half years.
Nahman Revivo, whose brother was wounded in the attack, said he felt denigrated by the court. “Our blood is permitted,” he said, adding that “these attacks happen time and again because the courts aren’t severe enough with these murderers. This was a case of attempted murder par excellence, the terrorist stabbed my brother in the back with a 12-inch knife. Thank God, he wasn’t murdered, but this doesn’t mean the punishment should be light.”
The stabbing took place a year and a half ago on Shavuot eve. The terrorist, armed with a long knife, lay in ambush waiting for Jews walking to the Western Wall plaza for holiday study and prayer. When a group of Jewish youths had passed by, he jumped them and managed to stab and wound two of them, one in the back. At the hospital they had to drain his chest. The other youth suffered a deep gash in his right shoulder and required multiple stitches.
Kakish was not charged with attempted murder despite the severity of the attack and the fact that his Facebook page was packed with incitements against Jews.