An Israeli Arab who carried out a car-ramming attack in Gan Shmuel, just north of Hadera, last October was sentenced to 25 years in prison on Wednesday and ordered to pay a total of 340,000 shekels (about $88,230) in reparations to his victims.
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Ala Raed Zyud, 21, from the Israeli-Arab city of Umm al-Fahm, was sentenced in a Haifa District Court after being charged in November with four counts of attempted murder and unlawful possession of a knife with a racist motive. The reparation money is to be divided between Zyud's four victims in the amounts of 150,000 shekels, 80,000 shekels, 70,000 shekels and 40,000 shekels.
Zyud first rammed his car into a crowd at a bus stop at about 7:30 P.M. on October 12, 2015 at the Alon junction on Route 65. He then exited the vehicle and began stabbing people. Zyud confessed to the crime after his arrest.
As sentencing was announced, the presiding judges said that the crimes Zyud committed "demand strict punishment to send a clear, piercing and deterring message that those partaking in such crimes will find themselves behind bars for a long time."
The judges found legal grounds for the lengthy sentence due to Zyud's premeditation and planning for the attack so as to harm as many people as possible.
In the course of the trial, the defense attempted to establish that Zyud, who has no prior criminal record, chose to carry out the attack in a "momentary decision," during a period in which he experienced economic hardship, depression and was influenced by the media. In the decision however, the judges noted that Zyud had expressed no remorse for his actions.
The judges also described the state of the victims: A 19-year-old female soldier was seriously wounded and had to undergo multiple surgeries and remains confined to a wheelchair; a 20-year-old soldier who still bears a large scar on his head and has difficulty walking; a 14-year-old girl who was stabbed and left with scars in seven different places on her body and a 45-year-old who, according to the court, suffers mainly from emotional trauma.
In fact, the victims all suffer from more than physical ailments as a result of the attack, said the judges. The 19-year-old suffers from signs of post-traumatic stress disorder while the attack harmed the 20-year-old's relationship with his girlfriend and the 14-year-old remains afraid and avoids taking part in activities that were once part of her every-day life, according to the judges.
Zyud's public defender and Haifa district's prosecutor on the case agreed that the sentence was appropriate for the crime and took all the facts into consideration.
At the beginning of the week, Interior Minister Arye Dery announced that he would take action to negate Zyud's Israeli citizenship.
“Revoking citizenship is a serious and rare step but we must use a firm hand against anyone who harms the security of the state and its inhabitants,” he wrote on his Facebook page.