“I will ask the honorable judge to read my letter, which expresses a little bit of what one small family is going through—a widowed mother, and a frail little daughter—who all that is left for them of their Yanai are memories, longing, and a huge empty void that was left by our Yanai, who was decorated for his acts of bravery, a hero in his death, but mostly a hero in his life,” wrote Yael Weissman in a letter set to be read to the judges as they give their sentence.
Two Palestinians, aged 14 from Beitunia, carried out a stabbing attack in the Sha'ar Binyamin Industrial Zone north of Jerusalem in February 2016 in a Rami Levi supermarket.
A third terrorist invovled unsuccessfully attempted to enter the the supermarket to join the attack.
Weissman, 21, was killed and a 36-year-old Israeli civilian was moderately wounded. Shoppers there pushed the terrorists back with shopping carts and a civilian at the scene then shot them, seriously wounding them.
All three terrorists were immediately caught and indictments were filed against them.
In her letter, Yael goes on to describe her husband, who served in the Nahal Brigade.
“Yanai was the first to get to the scene and fought with the terrorists and pushed one away from his victim, thereby saving his life. During the fight Yanai was stabbed and suffered serious injuries. At that point I was shielding Netta with my body during what was happening in a back aisle,” she said in reference to her daughter, who was four months old at the time.
“I began looking for Yanai, I ran between the aisles of the supermarket and what I saw and experienced I will never be able to forget. The amount of blood that was there, the screams of pain,” she recalls in the letter.
At the conclusion of the letter, Yael addresses the judges directly, recalling her experiences since Yanai was killed, before calling on the courts to use the full weight of the law against the terrorists.
“I am sure that Netta will be proud of her father when she grows up. I want Netta to grow up and know that there is no place in our country, in our environment, for the wretched and evil who choose evil,” she wrote.
“Yanai sacrificed his life, and both Netta and I sacrifice our lives every day, every hour, every minute as we continue to live without him. I call on the court, the honorable judge, to give the maximum punishment—the death penalty, which the wretched murderers deserve.”
A court discussion on the sentencing of one of the terrorists is set to take place on Wednesday in the military court in Ofer. The judicial process is still ongoing against two of the other terrorists.