The Jerusalem Magistrate's Court overturned Monday the conviction of a right-wing activist documented hurling rocks at Palestinian cars and smashing the windshield of another car in Hebron.
According to the judge, the decision was taken following a report by the probation officer claiming that the accused "takes responsibility for committing the crime."
The activist was sentenced to 400 shekels ($112) in compensation to the two Palestinian car owners.
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The case began in 2014, when the renowned right-wing activist Noam Federman and his son Oved hurled rocks at parked Palestinian cars in Hebron after Palestinians threw rocks at them. Following the documentation of the incident, published at the time by the human rights organization B'Tselem, the two were indicted and Noam Federman was sentenced to 40 hours of community service.
In his decision, Judge Ilan Sela wrote: "The accused was almost a minor when he committed the crime … In this case, we should look at the future and not the past, and the convicted shall pay each of the owners of the cars 200 shekels."
He added that from the report of the probation officer in the case, "one learns about the life circumstances of the accused. One learns that the accused … would have acted otherwise today. Furthermore, he explained his reasons for committing the crime, reasons that cannot be listed here in order to protect his privacy."
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The defendant's attorney, Itamar Ben Gvir, said that "the court should have acquitted the father and son, although the court undoubtedly took into consideration the circumstances surrounding the defendants' heroic act of stopping their car and chasing a rock-thrower. I am pleased that the court decided to cancel the conviction of Federman and presume that there is a message here that Jewish lives are valuable and that Jews have the right to defend themselves."
Attorney Itamar Ben-Gvir is a member of the far-right political part Otzma Yehudit and is known for representing Jewish suspects involved in terror cases and hate crimes against Palestinians.