September 27, 2023

Although Abed Al-Hamid Dandis pled guilty to hitting the couple’s car in 2015, he left the court with a plea bargain and no prison sentence due to ‘evidentiary issues’; ‘Is that what my mother’s life is worth?’ asks son

A Palestinian driver, whose reckless driving caused the death of an Israeli couple seven years ago, has not spent a single day in prison despite pleading guilty in court and admitting to hitting the car, which the two were driving.

Gila and Moshe David Marciano were killed in the car accident in October 2015. In the legal proceedings following the incident, the driver who hit the couple’s vehicle, Abed Al-Hamid Dandis, confessed to the wrongdoing and was charged with vehicular manslaughter and disregarding traffic signs.

The charges say the defendant was driving his vehicle and stopped at a red light in the left lane of the road, while the couple stopped next to him on the right lane.

When the light turned green both vehicles continued driving in their respective lanes until they arrived at an intersection, where the merge sign instructed the driver on left lane to give way to vehicles on the right. Dandis ignored the sign and crashed into the couple’s vehicle, killing them.

The legal proceedings ended in a plea deal, with the court sentencing Dandis to ten months of probation and ordering him to pay a compensation of NIS150,000 to the victims’ relatives.

The couple’s car following the accident

The court at the time said the plea deal was extremely forgiving, and was allowed to be made due to evidentiary issues and negligent procedures by the Military Advocate General. “In his negligent driving the defendant irrevocably harmed the highest value in our society – the sanctity of life,” the court said in a statement.

Eilon Rosenbloom, Glia’s son, said: “This decision is ludicrous, it’s lawlessness. This is what human life is worth? The handling of this case was outrageous. The fine is a joke – is that what my mother’s life is worth?”

Yaniv Yaakov, chief of Or Yarok Association for Safer Driving in Israel, said: “A driver needs to be aware that should he cause the death of another person, he could pay a heavy price.”

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