Michael Palmer, the father of Asher Palmer and grandfather of Yonatan Palmer, has been waging a long battle seeking justice since the tragic terrorist attack on September 2011 that took the lives of both Asher and Yonatan. Asher, an American citizen, and Yonatan were travelling to Jerusalem to pick up Puah Palmer, Asher’s wife, who was pregnant at the time. Their car was struck with a two huge slabs of concrete thrown out of a car driving in the opposite direction, killing them both instantly.At first the Army did not want to recognize that this was a terror attack. The Army initially claimed that Asher lost control of his vehicle while speeding down the highway from Kiryat Arba to Jerusalem. Evidence, later brilliantly presented during the trial by the military prosecution and legal representation Adrian Agassi, a former military court judge, proved otherwise. Careful examination and deliberation of that evidence by the judges brought forth the much desired verdict Michael Palmer earnestly fought for approximately 18 months. Month after month, accompanied by many close friends and family, Michael persevered the stressful months of court presences, delays and setbacks, until the justice he diligently sought finally became a reality.

On Tuesday (April 2) 2013, in the Mahane Ofer Military Court, Former Palestinian Authority security officer Wail Al-Araja was convicted of two accounts of first degree murder. This ruling, by all standards, sets a tremendous precedence in today’s courts, as the judicial system until now has not acknowledged a rock to be a murder weapon. All three judges stated that the intent to commit the crime was clear, based on several acts of terror this group had committed previous to the fatal attack, and that the defendants were fully aware of the fact that throwing a rock from a moving vehicle towards another has the capacity to kill, that this was not a spontaneous, single occurrence. The group had been practicing and achieved both accuracy and consistency in their results.

Tuesday’s success, albeit bitter sweet, was a result of the Palmer family’s dogged determination.  This resolve included hiring a lawyer to represent their interests, achieving a long awaited goal. Tuesday in court, Michael Palmer, accompanied by friends, family, acquaintances and the press, heard the accused taxi driver, who committed this horrendous crime, receive two convictions of murder. In light of this decision, two consecutive life sentences should be given in a few weeks, estimated Lawyer Adrian Agassi.

No words are able describe the pain and anguish. It is impossible to express in mere words or to understand how those who have lost loved ones in such tragic circumstances must feel. During the process of witnessing the trial procedures in the military courtroom, what captured this writer’s emotion was the determination, love and genuine desire of a father to bring justice that may some day help others.

By Rivkah Rybak

Tazpit News Agency


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