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Supreme Court justice Edmund Levy on Thursday criticized the culture of civilian "vigilantism," singling out in particular residents of "those areas of the country over the Green Line," a reference to settlers in the West Bank.

Levy's comments came as part of a ruling Thursday to reject a petition by Menachem Livni of Kiryat Arba, who was convicted of negligent and reckless behavior with a firearm and sabotage of a vehicle.

Livni was convicted at Jerusalem District Court in June 2003, for stopping a Palestinian truck that had been traveling on a West Bank "security road," and therefore not for Palestinian use. He pointed a gun at the driver, shot at the tires on the truck, and accidentally hit one of the headlights.

"It's already been long-forgotten that in a democratic state that has the rule of law as a guiding light, one cannot accept a defective situation in which civilians have the freedom to take the law into their own hands and act as replacement law enforcement agents," Levy wrote in the ruling.

Livni headed a Jewish terrorist organization in the 1980s and was convicted at the time of a nationalistic murder.