Michael Palmer at the Ofer military court 370.
(photo credit: JOANNA PARASZCZUK)
In a precedent-setting move, the father of Asher Palmer, the 24-year-old man
killed along with his infant son when his car overturned on Route 60, will
request permission to make a statement at the Ofer Military Court on Wednesday
during an appeal against a 10- month sentence for a Palestinian convicted of
stealing Palmer’s gun moments after his death.
Palmer and his baby son
Yonatan were killed last September when their car overturned near Kiryat Arba.
They had been on their way to meet Palmer’s pregnant wife in
However, a police investigation revealed that the two had been
murdered – a result of rock-throwing, and not a car accident as the IDF had at
Shehada Awad Shehada Shatat, who was not connected to
the rock-throwing but who saw the incident and immediately afterward robbed
Palmer’s body without calling for medical help, received a NIS 1,000 fine on top
of his 10-month prison term.
Two other Palestinian men – Ali Saadeh and
Wa’al al-Arjeh from Halhoul, near Hebron – were charged in the Ofer Military
Court under military law with intentionally causing the deaths of Palmer and his
son, equivalent to a murder charge under civilian law.
Asher’s father, said that in sentencing Shatat, the military court had failed to
take into account the rights of the victims of the crime.
family says it will to ask the court on Wednesday for permission to give a
victim impact statement describing the effect Shatat’s crime has had on the
In civilian criminal trials, victim impact statements are a
standard part of sentencing arguments, and judges take them into account when
However, Michael Palmer said he had not considered
giving such a statement at Shatat’s sentencing hearing – because the military
advocate-general had not informed him that the hearing was taking
The Palmer family’s legal representative, former military court
judge attorney Adrian Agassi, discovered that Shatat had been sentenced only two
Michael Palmer said the chief prosecutor for Judea and
Samaria had told the family that he did not know about the trial.
prosecution later appealed against the leniency of the sentence.
that the Shatat sentencing demonstrates very clearly the importance of
considering victims’ rights,” Michael Palmer told The Jerusalem Post
“Shatat saw the attack, saw Asher and Yonatan die,
maintained chilling presence of mind as he looked into the just-dead faces of a
father and his infant son and then proceeded to desecrate Asher’s still warm
body to find and steal the weapon,” he continued.
“Shatat may very well
have literally had Asher’s blood on his hands!” He added that in passing
sentence on Shatat, Military Court Judge Maj. Eti Adar had failed to take into
account what the elder Palmer described as the “horror” of Shatat’s
“I hope that the appeals court will accept my statement and then
be able to consider the evilness of his crime and the effect this horrible man
has had on Asher’s family,” he stated.