Halamish Brothers Jailed Before Final Appeal
by Hillel Fendel
Danny, 35, has been sentenced to seven months in prison, and his brother Itzik, 28, must sit for eight months. The two IDF combat unit veterans have asked President Shimon Peres for a pardon - but no response has yet been received.
The Halamish brothers were to have entered prison several weeks ago, but they received temporary reprieves from various courts in light of their request for a pardon. However, on Monday, the Supreme Court denied their request to have their sentences pushed off for good until Peres makes his decision.
Final Appeal Still Pending
On Tuesday, the brothers filed a final appeal, maintaining that if ultimately Peres decides to pardon them after they have spent time in jail, this would be a blow to the presidential authority to pardon them.
While the Supreme Court "tries to figure out what to make of this appeal," in the words of activist Datia Yitzchaki, who has been closely following the case, the brothers arrived at the Jerusalem detention center to begin their sentence. They will be brought to the Supreme Court tomorrow to hear a final decision.
The brothers were convicted of attacking Arabs who infiltrated the fields of their town, Maaleh Rechavam in eastern Gush Etzion. Not only do they claim that the Arabs attacked first, they also say they did not shoot at all. Read here the full story of the incident and some of the judicial obstacles the brothers faced.
"Big Event" at Maaleh Rechavam
Yitzchaki also serves as the secretary of the small town of Maaleh Rechavam, which is named for the late terrorist victim, Tourism Minister and IDF Central Commander Rehavam (Gandi) Ze'evi. Maaleh Rechavam, which the government currently considers an unauthorized outpost, numbers five families and eight singles, and is seeking to add residents.
"The members need to be strengthened, given the recent events," Yitzchaki told Arutz-7, "and this Friday, Lag BaOmer, we will have a special event in the town to raise morale and to invite people to see our town. There will be music and activities, and everyone is invited to this important event."