The terrified terrorist

One of the men behind the murder of Asher and Yonatan Palmer did not have to testify at trial.

Palestinian terrorists fire a mortar shell in Gaza 311 R (photo credit: Ibraheem Abu Mustafa / Reuters)
Palestinian terrorists fire a mortar shell in Gaza 311 R
(photo credit: Ibraheem Abu Mustafa / Reuters)
It was Sunday June 3, at 10:30 a.m., and we were again gathered at Opher Military Prison. This time the occasion was the opening of the trials of the Arab terrorists who formed a murderous cell, practiced throwing huge rocks from moving cars on Highway 60, and in the end succeeded in their diabolic plot to murder Jews with the horrific murder of Asher and Yonatan Palmer on September 23, 2011.
Representatives of the United States Department of Justice and State Department were present to monitor the proceedings as the victims were American citizens.
The proceedings that day focused on two of the murderers, Waail Salman Mohammed el Arga, a resident of Halhul and Ali Abed Alhadi Ismaeil Sa'adah.  Both were charged with the murders.
Again we sat silently holding the photograph of the young man and his son who were brutally murdered while innocently traveling in their car to meet up with Asher's pregnant wife in Jerusalem.
There was no official attempt to prevent our holding the picture, since the military judge during the last hearing stated that it was only normal for us to hold the picture of the victims. We watched as the terrorists turned their faces away from ours, and from the photograph of Asher and Yonatan.
Ali stood up to give his testimony, while Waail remained seated, facing him, from across the court room.  Ali requested that the court remove his family because "he feared that they would be in danger from his testimony." 
The judge asked the meaning of this request, and Ali explained that he feared that vengeance would be exercised against his family due to his testimony.
After a bit of discussion between the judge and the prosecutors, it was decided to release Ali from making any statements, and instead to use the testimony that  Ali gave during his capture and interrogation by the security forces.
We sat and watched Ali's fear. We witnessed his nervous movements as he requested to protect his family who would suffer when he gave his testimony.  We observed Waail's face and how he stared at Ali.
We witnessed the terror of terrorists– something that we had never glimpsed previously.  We saw how fear of reprisal on his family prevented Ali from speaking out even after he already testified.
Perhaps precisely because Ali is a terrorist, he understood the evil of terror and understood that he would receive no empathy from his fellow terrorists who would be sure to perpetrate vengeance on him or his family as a result of his testimony. This was a new angle for us who have lost loved ones.  To see how hate and fear are used against fellow terrorists who perfected a monstrous way to use rocks as the ultimate weapon to murder innocent Jews.
We, together with Michael Palmer; loving father and grandfather of Asher and Yonatan, will continue to attend these trials. And we will use love, respect and faith in the loving memory of Asher and Yonatan to try and always do good in their memories.
The writer is a veteran spokesperson for the Jewish pioneers living in Yesha, volunteers in emergency rescue and has lived with her family in Bet Horon in the Benjamin Region for more than 30 years. She was asked by Asher Palmer's z"l father, Michael, to support him by being present at the hearings and trials of the terrorists.