Hatem Khalil Marari, who was sentenced to life in prison for his part in the lynch murder of two IDF reservists in Ramallah at the beginning of the Second Intifada, has had his sentence reduced to 11 years on lesser charges due to technical flaws that emerged in the evidence against him.
Marari signed a plea bargain with Israeli authorities on Wednesday, admitting guilt to attacking an Israeli soldier and possession of a weapon without a permit — the maximum sentence for which is 11 years. Since he has already served that amount of time in prison, having been sentenced in 2004, he will be released.
In a judicial review of the case, it was determined that the testimony against him lacked the level of certainty required to convict him of murder.
The lynching occurred on October 12, 2000, the day after Yom Kippur that year, when an Arab mob set upon two IDF reservists, Yossi Avrahami, Hy”d, and Vadim Nurzhitz, Hy”d, who had accidentally entered Ramallah. The two were mercilessly beaten, stabbed and tortured to death, and then their bodies were further mutilated.
Images of the murders, which were shown in Israel, deeply shocked the nation. Not a few Israelis later said they changed their minds about the prospects of ever making peace with the Palestinians as a result of that horrifying event.