Such a pity Israel killed Eichmann. He so wanted to get married and start a family.

July 22, 2010

In News The Israel-Palestine Conflict

Military committee accepts appeal filed by Taysir Hayb, who was sentenced to eight years in prison for shooting Tom Hurndall in Rafah in 2003. Judges rule soldier has turned his life around, no longer poses a threat. Military Advocacy: Release could hurt Israel-UK ties

Hanan Greenberg

After six and a half years in jail and four committees which discussed mitigating his sentence, the Israel Defense Forces on Monday agreed to release soldier Taysir Hayb, who killed a British peace activist in Rafah.

The committee rejected the Military Advocacy’s stand that the soldier’s release, a year and a half before he was originally scheduled to complete his jail term, may damage Israel’s relations with Britain.

Hayb, 27, joined the army’s desert patrol unit. In 2003, he was involved in the shooting of International Solidarity Movement civilian activist Tom Hurndall, who worked as photographer and was documenting the activities at the Philadelphi Route area.

After a long trial, the soldier was convicted of manslaughter and sentenced to eight years in prison. After serving three years in a military jail, he was handed over to the Israel Prison Service and began a rehabilitation process.

He first appealed to a military committee to mitigate his sentence after four years in prison, but the Military Advocacy insisted that he should not be released due to the severity of the act and the harsh British response the release was likely to spark.

Two additional appeals filed with the committee were denied. On Monday morning, he faced the committee – led by Colonel Erez Porat, president of the Southern Command and Ground Forces’ military court – once again.

Wishes to get married
The Military Advocate General reiterated its objection to the early release, but the soldier’s lawyer, Attorney Idan Pesach, outlined the changes that have taken place in Hayb’s lifestyle, the internalization that he has undergone following the incident and his desire to rehabilitate himself and start his life outside of prison.

The soldier’s mother also asked the judges to release her son. Hayb himself said he was engaged and wishes to get married and start a family.

After a brief consultation, the committee members declared that they believe the soldier has turned his life around and no longer poses a threat.

In addition, the judges ruled that the time that has passed since the incident has weakened the arguments to keep him incarcerated, and announced that the soldier is to be released in one month.

Upon hearing the verdict, Hayb’s family let out cries of joy and embraced.

It seems the Military Advocate General does not intend to utilize the option of petitioning the High Court of Justice against the decision, and will likely allow the soldier’s release from prison.