An Israeli teen was sentenced to a year in prison on Sunday for hitting Arab youths with a car and stabbing them over what the court said was racist motivations.
According to the court’s ruling, the defendant, who was 17 at the time of the incident, along with a friend, assaulted Arab teens from the village of Hamaam. At first, the defendant and a peer attempted to run over two of the boys with a car, hitting and wounding one of them.
Later, the defendant exited the car holding a knife, and attempted to stab the youth he had failed to run over. He then returned to the car with his friend, chasing down a third Arab teen, 15, and knocked him over.
With the Arab youth lying on the ground, the defendant got out of the car holding a knife, with his friend holding a club, proceeding to stab the youth in his left thigh, as his friend hits him over the head with a club, and as the two yell: “Die you Arab.”
Despite the fact that the assaulted teen begged for his life and asked the two to stop striking him, the two continued the assault, seriously wounding his ear. He was later evacuated to Poriya Hospital in Tiberias and transferred to Haifa’s Rambam Medical Center.
The defendant refused to admit to the crimes attributed to him and did not cooperate with social services.
On Sunday, Nazareth District Court convicted the defendant of aggravated assault and injury, negligent sabotage, and possession of a knife, with presiding judge Asher Kola saying that all of the crimes were committed “in the most ugly manner, as the defendant makes matter worse by calling out ‘die you Arab’ at the 15-year-old victim.”
“This kind of behavior should lead only to conviction,” Kola wrote in his ruling, adding that the actions attributed to the youth necessitated a conviction so “that he and others will be deterred from performing such acts.”
Judge Kola added that it was hard to release oneself from the feeling that the grave series of offences “was committed over a bona fide racist motivation,” adding that, while the defendant was only 17 at the time, “making him a minor, “he was not a real minor in a way that would disrupt normative judgment.”
The judge added that he did take certain facts under consideration in his sentencing, such as the fact that the defendant was a minor, that his family had just experienced a tragedy with the passing of his older brother in a car accident, as well as the grave medical condition of the defendant’s mother.
In addition, Kola said he feared sending the defendant to a lengthy incarceration could lead him further down the path of crime.
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