Court gives Ari Fuld murderer life sentence; awards family damages

The family's lawyer, Maurice Hirsch, said leading up to the sentencing that there is no doubt that Ari's murderer should receive multiple life sentences.

‘WHAT MAKES Ari [Fuld]’s death so much more painful is our government’s inability to stem the problem at its source.’ (photo credit: Courtesy)
‘WHAT MAKES Ari [Fuld]’s death so much more painful is our government’s inability to stem the problem at its source.’
(photo credit: Courtesy)
The Judea Military Court on Tuesday sentenced the convicted murderer of well-known American-Israeli activist Ari Fuld to one life sentence for murder and for three attempted murders.
In addition, the court granted a large “legal price tag” style monetary award of NIS 1.25 million to the Fuld family as part of the sentence.
Both the award and the jail time, which was less than multiple life sentences, were less than what the Fuld family had sought, but marked an end to the painful saga.
Palestinian Khalil Yusef Ali Jabarin was convicted by the Judea Military Court in January for the murder, as well as for three other attempted murders.
Fuld, 45, was stabbed in the upper back on September 16, 2018, outside the Gush Etzion shopping center by then 17-year-old Jabarin of Yatta, a village located south of Hebron.
"Every murder has two victims," said Ari's widow, Miriam Fuld in the lead up to the trial, "the victim and the family left in its wake."
"Ari was a hero in his life, loved his fellow man, loved the Land of Israel, loved the State of Israel," she continued. "And he protected them – whether serving in active military service still at the age of 45 or in educating the younger generation, or teaching self-defense or posting articles and videos in social media."
She said that even in the last moments of his life he chased his killer with a fatal wound in his back to make sure the terrorist did not hurt anyone else.
"It is in the ability of this court to show that Jewish blood – any person's life at all – is precious. That any murderer will pay dearly for his actions... to deter such acts in the future," she continued. "Ari is not here to defend himself... It is your duty to convey a deterrent message, one that will be heard and feared by any future potential terrorist."
Miriam said that "nothing will comfort me, who has lost the love of my life: my soul mate, my life companion. I have lost the only person who can comfort me; my partner, my best friend."
She concluded, "But multiple life sentences and a punishment that will prevent the murderer from enjoying the blood money that the Palestinian Authority has paid – just for killing Ari – will bring a shred of justice to such a cruel reality. Murder is the most serious crime, and we expect the most severe punishment."
The family's lawyer, Maurice Hirsch, said leading up to the sentencing that there is no doubt that Ari's murderer should receive multiple life sentences – "one for the life that he took and another for the lives of the others he intended to [take].”
“It is a terrible shame that the military courts don’t miss an opportunity to be lenient with terrorists. In addition, to the life sentence imposed on Ari’s murderer, the court should have added tens of years in prison for the other additional attempts to murder Jews,” he said.
While Hirsch was disappointed by the single life sentence, he was incredulous about the size of the award.  
Hirsch commented, “When deciding what damages to award the Fuld family, the court completely ignored the fact that the PA is going to pay the terrorist over NIS 5 million for murdering Ari. By awarding damages of only NIS 1.25 million, the court sent a clear message – terror pays!”
Hirsch had wanted the payout to be more than what Jabarin would receive from the PA, in order to make sure he and his family didn't profit from Fuld's murder.
The over NIS 5 million calculation is based on how much the PA pays Palestinians in similar situations to Jabarin on a yearly basis, presuming the convict lives to the age of 78.
Hirsch explained that for the first 36 months, Jabarin would only receive NIS 1,400 per month, but that every couple years, this amount increases to NIS 4,000 a month then NIS 6,000 a month and eventually to NIS 12,000 a month for the last 380 months.
This is part of the controversial so-called “pay-for-slay” payments made by the PA to terrorists and their families.
Following the quick indictment of Jabarin in October 2018, the case was delayed for six months by his initial lawyer being indicted for unrelated crimes.
The entire trial was held behind closed doors because the murderer was a minor when he killed Fuld.  
Prior to attacking Fuld with a 21-centimeter knife, Jabarin had scoped out the Ziv Junction, the Cave of the Patriarchs near Hebron and a checkpoint near Bethlehem as possible venues for his attack before settling on the Rami Levi supermarket outside the Gush Etzion shopping center.
Jabarin decided not to attack someone at the Ziv Junction because he wouldn't find an IDF soldier; not at the cave because it was closed; and not at the Bethlehem checkpoint because he was worried that nearby Palestinians might get caught up in his assault.
However, when he saw Fuld, he noticed that his back was turned to him and that he was distracted on a cell phone, so he decided to attack.   
Mortally wounded, Fuld chased his Palestinian attacker, jumped over a short stone wall and shot and wounded him before he himself collapsed.
Born in New York, Fuld immigrated to Israel in 1994.
The dual US-Israeli citizen lived in Efrat with his wife, Miriam, and their children Tamar, 22; Naomi, 21; Yakir, 17; and Natan 12.
He was a well-known activist and was among the most prominent American-Israeli Jews killed by terrorists in recent years.