'Wedding of Hate': Seven Israelis Convicted of Incitement to Terrorism

The men were convicted of incitement to violence and terror for their participation in a 2015 wedding in which photos of a murdered Palestinian baby were stabbed and burned

הגר שיזף
Hagar Shezaf
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Dov Moral (R), singer Sinai Tor, and Shmulik fine at the Jerusalem District Court on Wednesday
Dov Moral (R), singer Sinai Tor, and Shmulik fine at the Jerusalem District Court on WednesdayCredit: אוהד צויגנברג
הגר שיזף
Hagar Shezaf

Seven men who participated in the so-called 2015 “wedding of hate,” during which pictures of the murdered Palestinian toddler Ali Dawabshe were waved around and stabbed, were convicted of incitement to violence and terror by the Jerusalem District Court on Wednesday.

One of the seven, Daniel Zvi Moshe, was also convicted of incitement to racism, of supporting a terrorist organization and of possession of a weapon.

Two of the men, Yehoyada Suki and Dov Moral, were additionally convicted of violating a legal order. The groom, Yakir Eshbal from Yad Binyamin, was convicted of possession of a weapon. Another participant in the wedding, singer Sinai Tor from Ramat Hasharon, was acquitted of incitement to violence and terror.

The maximum sentence for incitement to violence and terror, as well as for incitement to racism, is five years in prison.

Ali Dawabshe was 18 months old when he burned to death in a firebombing attack on his family's house, in Duma in the West Bank, by right-wing Jewish extremists in July 2015. His parents died of their injuries as well, leaving their 5-year-old son as the sole survivor.

The wedding took place five months later, in December 2015, during which participants were filmed waving and stabbing a picture of the baby Ali. Footage of the wedding drew an outcry from both Palestinians and Israelis.

Judge Eitan Cohen wrote in his verdict: “What is described in the indictment is serious and regrettable, and it is a shame that it occurred. This is a demonstration of joy regarding the murder of innocent people. After being apprised of all the evidence in the case, I found the inciteful nature was obvious to anyone, clear and undeniable.

"The two main messages of these actions," the judge wrote, are "support for the murder of an innocent family and a call to revenge against Arabs, and all this while exposing the inciteful actions to hundreds of people present at the wedding, some of whom were friends of those detained in the Duma affair, and thus further inflaming them.

"The circumstances... raise the real possibility that this would lead to the carrying out of an act of violence or terror,” he added.

According to the indictment, prior to the wedding pictures of the Dawabshe family members, appended with the caption “revenge,” were made into signs with glued-on cardboard and sticks. During the wedding, Tor – the singer who was acquitted – sang songs that were allegedly inciteful, including “The mosque will burn, burn,” and “The mosque will explode, explode,” along with, “Without Arabs there are no terror attacks.”

While the songs were sung, the participants danced and waved the pictures, as well as two Israeli army rifles and pistols and bottles that looked like Molotov cocktails and knives. During the dancing, some stabbed the pictures, set them on fire and racked the guns.

Attorneys Moshe Polsky and Adi Kedar of the Honenu nonprofit organization, who represented the defendants, said: “We regret the court’s ruling, which in our opinion cannot stand. The court did not consider the legal claims presented to it and was pressured by the public atmosphere.”

In October, prosecutors appealed to acquit four underage wedding participants of incitement to violence and terror convictions. Another minor, whose trial is still underway, was convicted of intentionally damaging property. According to the indictment, he and his friends caused damage to agricultural plots owned by Palestinians from Wadi Fukhin and they left hateful graffiti at the scene.

In 2020, Amiram Ben Uliel was convicted of the Dawabshe family murders and sentenced to three consecutive life sentences. He was also sentenced to 17 years in prison for the attempted murder of then-five-year-old Ahmad Dawabshe, and 10 years for arson.

Reuters contributed to this article.

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