The killer of Ramat Hasharon real estate attorney Anat Pliner was sentenced to 18 years in prison by the Tel Aviv District Court on Tuesday.

He was also ordered to pay Pliner’s family NIS 200,000 in compensation.

The killer, who cannot be named because he was a minor at the time of the murder, brutally stabbed Pliner at the door of her home in Ramat Hasharon in April 2006.

According to the charge sheet, the youth, then 15, had decided to rob Pliner’s house at knifepoint because he wanted cash. When Pliner opened the door, he told her he was a neighbor, then demanded she hand over all her money. Pliner screamed and he stabbed her twice in the stomach with a commando knife.

Pliner’s daughter, 12, and son, 10, were in the house at the time witnessed the events.

The killer was arrested two years later, after police linked him to the murder. A DNA sample taken after his arrest for a different crime matched DNA found at the scene of the stabbing.

The youth confessed to murdering Pliner, but pleaded insanity.

The court ruled, however, that the young man was fit to stand trial. He was convicted of Pliner’s murder last November.

One of the panel of three judges had wanted to sentence him to 24 years in prison, but the other two judges prevailed. The prosecution had requested a life sentence, the maximum penalty for murder.

After judges sentenced the youth to 18 years, his attorney Moshe Maroz said that the court had rightly taken into account the fact that his client had not deliberately murdered Pliner, but had stabbed her “in panic.”

Pliner’s mother, Tehiyah Aharoni, expressed outrage and disgust, saying that the court should have handed down a life sentence.

Attorney Dikla Tutian, director of the Noga Legal Center for Victims of Crime at Kiryat Ono Academic College, also slammed the sentence, and said the killer’s status as a minor should not have had any influence on his punishment.

“The Israeli legal system should treat a killer who is also a minor first and foremost as a killer, and only then as a minor,” said Tutian.

“Even today, when sentencing, the court placed the fact that the defendant is a minor at the center of its deliberations, and sentenced him to a relatively light punishment that does not reflect the severity of his acts and their ramifications for the Pliner family.”

Jerusalem Post staff contributed to this report.

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