Judge Eilata Ziskin of the Jerusalem Magistrate’s Court has sentenced a Jewish man convicted of attacking arabs and assaulting a police officer to two months in prison and five months probation. Another defendant in the same case was sentenced to community service.
The conviction stems from an incident that occurred two years ago at the Migron outpost in Binyamin. During the destruction of five buildings at the outpost by Border Police a group of Arab men approached two Jewish youths and attempted to kidnap them. The attack began when a group of Arab men approached two Jewish youths who were standing near an olive grove on the outskirts of town and began pelting them with stones. The Arab men had gained access to the area by telling soldiers they were farmers who had come to harvest olives.
The attackers managed to overpower and grab the two youths. They then bound them and began dragging them away. The two youths continued to struggle and were beaten by the mob. One, named Alex, was stabbed in the head and wounded. Border Police either did not take notice of the incident or chose not to intevene, but the kidnapping was foiled by 15 residents of Migron who chased after the Arabs and started a rock-hurling fight until Border Police and IDF soldiers arrived. While interposing themselves between the two groups one Border Police officer was struck in the head.
Video documentation of the event revealed an Arab Police officer named Rami Seif decided to arrest Alex even though he was told the would-be abductors threatened him with a knife, sprayed him with pepper-spray, and wounded him in the head. In the background there is shouting of residents demanding police officers and soldiers deal with the Arab attackers. A second Jew, Yehiel Lex, was also arrested. According to Alex, an Israeli Police officer named Rafael Elbaz realized Lex had captured the event on his phone camera and deleted the file to conceal evidence.
The prosecution demanded Alex be given prison time, while Lex, who was expelled from Gush Katif and now serves as a combat soldier, be given community service. Alex was sentenced to seven months in prison, five on probation. He was also ordered to pay a fine of NIS 1,000 to Police Officer Jeremy Seif and NIS 2,000 to Arabs who complained he had attacked them. Lex was sentenced to 45 days community service, probation, and similar compensation officer and Arabs.
Judge Ziskind noted the complainants were not Arabs and that the reports left questions as to what transpired, but nonetheless accepted the prosecutions arguments that those present had taken the law into their own hands.
Delay in execution of the sentence until appeal is the District Court.
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