The Judge Advocate General’s Office on Sunday said it intends to appeal the decision of a military court to acquit of murder charges the terrorist who carried out the attack in Gush Etzion where Maj. Eliav Gelman died, and to convict him only of a manslaughter.
The terrorist, Mamduh ‘Amro, 26, from Dura, some five miles southwest of Hebron, on February 24, 2016 arrived at the hitchhiking stop at the Gush Etzion junction, and began to run at the stop, waving a knife. Gelman, who was waiting at the stop with a few civilians, drew his own pistol and charged at the running terrorist, at which point he was hit by stray gunfire that missed the terrorist and caused Gelman’s tragic death.
The court ruled that the terrorist was responsible for Gelman’s death, since the shooting resulted from his actions, but found it could not assign to him a murder conviction.
The Gelman family, accompanied by attorney Haim Bleicher of the Honenu legal aid society which lends free legal services to the family as victims of terrorism, met on Sunday with the Military Advocate General in Judea and Samaria. They were informed of the military advocate’s decision to appeal the ruling which had been reached even before the verdict and the sentence were handed down, due to the gravity of the case.
Itamar Gelman, Eliav’s brother, praised the decision and attacked the ruling, saying, “We were happy this morning along with the people of Israel and the bereaved families to hear that the Military Advocate General has filed an appeal against the dangerous ruling handed down by the court.”
“Unfortunately, we civilians and the army are fighting terrorism, but the court is directed to treat terrorism as a criminal event and is not directed by the legislature to treat terrorism under the laws of war, thus actually harming our ability to fight terrorism,” Gelman said.