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Bedouin Attacker to the Court: I Didn’t Know the Law

iA year-and-a-half after assaulting an IDF officer, beating him badly, the Supreme Court rejected an appeal filed by two Bedouins who received jail terms for the mob attack. Despite their light sentences, they hoped the High Court would exhibit even more leniency.

The officer left his southern area base and was traveling on an area road. A Bedouin driver transporting PA illegals was driving erratically, prompting the officer to signal him because he felt that driver was a danger. The Bedouin driver however would not have any of this and he and his buddies managed to cut the officer’s vehicle off and they began beating him. They damaged his vehicle quite significantly and they beat and kicked him and smashed rocks against his body. They left him bleeding on the side of the road to die, driving off.

The story does not end here however. When they realized they forgot a phone at the scene they returned, beat him a second time and left him there again. The officer was hospitalized.

There was evidence against two of the defendants but that was discarded in the name of a plea bargain agreement with the prosecutor. Charges included endangering a life in a traffic lane, assault and damaging a vehicle.

A probation service report against one of them stated he worked in an Ashkelon bakery for two years as well as earning money transporting PA illegals. The reported hinted the attack was motivated by the fact the victim was an IDF officer. “The defendant felt feelings of alienation and anger at the political establishment and the Jewish community and has a problematic world view” the report stated. The second Bedouin youth was not bashful and he wrote in his statement “I attacked the man but I was not aware of the law and its implications.”

The officer detailed his ordeal before the court and how the Bedouin vehicle tried to cut him off. He explained he did not stop on that deserted road for he feared if he did, his daughter would grow up without her father. He explained he was totally helpless and significantly outnumbered, and feared for his life.

The officer added that since the event, he feels very insulted, humiliated and degraded. He expressed his hope that the court will deal with the attackers in the proper fashion so they never think to repeat such an act.

However, the officer’s hopes vanished rather quickly. “The defendants’ delinquent behavior and bullying is outrageous and horrifying to us all” wrote Beersheva District Court Justice Eliyahu Biton. “Their actions teach us they have no internal limits and no fear of the law and are dangers to society.”

The prosecutor was seeking a sentence of 8-10 years imprisonment. The court decided 3-6 years was sufficient and ultimately, the sentence handed down by Justice Biton was four years imprisonment. Others involved in the attack are not serving any jail time, apparently due to a lack of evidence.

The court explained it is taking into account this was a first offense for the defendants and they are young.

Despite the light sentence the defendants appealed to the Supreme Court seeking even a lighter term. The High Court expressed surprise over the light sentences but nevertheless decided not to become involved, rejecting the appeal.

(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)

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