The Supreme Court has added three years to the sentence of Arkan Badir, 28, the Arab who ran down and killed a Samaria community security officer in September of 2012. Badir's sentence was extended from eight to 11 years in jail.
Badir killed security officer Lior Farhi, 40, outside Shaarei Tikva, five miles east of Tel Aviv. The killer is a resident of Kafr Kasem, an Israeli Arab village. He had been transporting illegal infiltrators into Israel, and when Farhi attempted to stop him, he ran over him and drove away.
He was convicted on a plea bargain of manslaughter, attempts to transport illegal infiltrators, leaving a wounded person behind after hitting him and obstructing justice.
The Supreme Court stiffened the sentence that was meted out by the Central District Court in 2014: eight years in jail, suspension of the driver's license for 12 years from the day of his release, and payment of a total of NIS 120,000 (about $32K) in damages to the widow and children of the victim. The prosecution had amended the charges against the killer from murder to manslaughter in a plea bargain.
The state appealed the sentence as being too lenient and the Supreme Court extended the jail time while leaving the other parts of the sentence unchanged.
Naomi Farhi, Lior's widow, said Thursday: “I lost my darling, my love, and on the way I lost my beautiful and calm life… When the death is unnatural and premature, the pain becomes bigger when your loved one sacrificed his life to protect the residents and the homeland he loved so much, and then suddenly, one hears voices, opinions and criticism. And this is instead of thanking lior for preventing terror acts, and protecting everyone at great risk to his life and with great courage.”
"I am glad that in the Supreme Court, they are telling everyone about Lior's courage, his braveness and daring,” she added. “Lior, of blessed memory, his children and I deserve it. For us, it is a kind of victory that is a ray of light in the darkness.”
Attorney Tammy Kalenberg Levi, who represents the family, said that “The Supreme Court has done justice to the victim's family and expressed its support for them in its ruling. The court gave a message today, that one cannot take the life of a person and be punished with a few years. And for the family, no less important, it heard their voice.”
"The court studied the victim affidavit of the widow, and heard the State Attorney's office say that there was no blemish in the deceased's actions,” she added. “The fact that the appeal was accepted and the punishment stiffened, and the court's determination that the deceased acted with courage, is a healing decision for the family, and one hopes that they will find at least some solace in this.”
The murder took place on September 9, 2012, when Badir tried to enter one of the communities next to the Maavar Shomron checkpoint, in order to transport infiltrators illegally through a gap in the security barrier. Farhi tried to stop Badir, who instead accelerated his vehicle and ran over Farhi, and then drove away.
A MDA-Yarkon team that reached the scene gave Farhi initial treatment and tried to resuscitate him. He was taken to Beilinson Hospital in Petah Tikva with multi-trauma, where he was pronounced dead.
On his last mission, Farhi was accompanied by an IDF officer and by a friend, Dvir Carmon. Farhi asked Carmon to help him videotape illegal activity by an Arab smuggler who helps infiltrators from the Palestinian Authority cross into Israeli territory.
"Lior took his work seriously. We called him 'Mr. Security,'" said Carmon. "He wanted to raise consciousness regarding this problem."
Carmon placed his car at the side of the road, and in order to avoid the Arabs'suspicion, the two raised the hood and pretended to have engine problems. "I started taking pictures of the lookouts signaling to the Palestinians when it is safe to cross, and the people who wait and then run toward the fence and enter an Israeli car that awaited them nearby," he recounted.
"Lior told me to move forward with the car and went out to close the hood. Suddenly we saw a male and female soldier running toward the Palestinians, and the [Arab] car driving toward the soldiers. Lior shouted to me – "the soldiers!" – and started running at the vehicle.
"He drew his gun and stood on the road, signaling the car to stop. He thought that the vehicle was about to run down the soldiers. I saw that the driver noticed him, veered off of the lane in which he was driving toward the soldiers, turning and starting to drive toward Lior. It was a matter of seconds. Lior aimed him gun and the car, instead of slowing down, sped up in Lior's direction and ran him down."
Attempts to resuscitate Farhi were unsuccessful. "He was in serious condition," said Carmon. "He simply died in my arms."