The Jerusalem District Court on Thursday sentenced a Jewish teen to eight years in jail for the killing of East Jerusalem resident Hussam Rawidi. The young man stabbed Rawidi with a barber's razor blade. He was convicted under a plea bargain.
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The crime was committed in February 2011, when the defendant and his friends, all Jewish, were at the ages of 16-17.
The incident took place in the center of Jerusalem, on a Friday night. The defendant and three of his friends, residents of Jerusalem, Beit-El and Itamar, heard Rawidi talking with his friend Murad Jelani in Arabic. A friend of the defendant's began voicing racist remarks toward the two.
In its ruling, the court said that at the time, the defendant was not aware of the racist remarks made by his friend. However, he joined the quarrel after seeing his friend beating the two.
Judge Zvi Segal said that, "At some point, the young man pulled out a barber's razor blade and assaulted the deceased, causing a deep cut in his face, from the ear to his cheek." It also states that while Rawidi was bleeding to death, two of the friends also began beating Rawidi.
While the four were fleeing the scene, Rawidi collapsed and was taken to hospital in critical condition, where he died shortly after.
Two of the defendant's friends were convicted of causing a severe injury, as part of a deal reached with the prosecution, and were sentenced to six months of community service. The defendant had also signed a plea bargain, according to which he confessed to the killing, in return for a reduced sentence.
"The felony in which the defendant was convicted in - taking a man's life - is one of the most serious felonies in the book of statutes," Segal wrote. "Its price tag is a maximum of 20 years in jail, and not in vain."
The judge stressed that the defendant joined the fight when he was intoxicated, without being aware of the events leading up to it, and that he not only assaulted Rawidi, but also disfigured his face.
"In contrary to every human emotion," Segal wrote, "the incident had not ended here, and the group, with the defendant a part of it, continued to strike the bleeding deceased for some long minutes, until he collapsed."
The judge also mentioned the pain shared by the family of the deceased, saying "no one can know the pain of parents, when the life of their son is taken in a thrust of a knife."
However, Segal also mentioned that the probation officer was impressed by the defendant's display of remorse.
"The defendant confessed to the crime, showed remorse and was emphatic to the family of the deceased, took responsibility for his actions and it seems he understands the severity of the felony and of his involvement in its deadly results," Segal said.