Dor Oved, a right-wing activist from the Jerusalem area, was convicted of incitement to violence during last year’s evacuation of the unauthorized West Bank outpost of Amona. The Jerusalem District Court accepted an appeal from prosecutors and overturned Oved’s acquittal by the Jerusalem Magistrate’s Court.
Oved was convicted of writing messages in WhatsApp groups calling for violence to prevent the settlers’ eviction. “We will take revenge without mercy,” and “I am in favor of not listening to the Amona [residents] council and fighting to the last drop of blood,” were some of his posts.
“As far as the content of the message is concerned, the defendants’ words include a clear call to action: Not to let things pass in silence, to fight to the last drop of blood, to cause injuries to the other side, to take revenge,” wrote Judge Hagit Mack-Kalmanovitch in her verdict. “The texts [messages] were phrased in a manner to encourage carrying out acts of violence.”
In acquitting Oved, the lower court had found that “the requirement for a real possibility of carrying out such acts did not exist.” But Mack-Kalmanovitch, and judges Anat Zinger and Arnon Darel of the higher court found that a real possibility of violent actions did exist as a result of what Oved wrote. They rejected defense claims that Oved was the only person charged, even though others called to carry out similar acts.
That no other group members were prosecuted is problematic, but that does not mean Oved should be acquitted, Mack-Kalmanovitch said. The two other judges concurred with the ruling and the case now returns to the lower court for sentencing.
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Oved has been previously convicted of spray painting abusive statements at the home of Hagit Ofran, a senior official of Peace Now. Oved was also arrested in once on suspicion of sending death threats in emails to senior Peace Now figures.
Oved’s family has said t he suffers from psychological problems.
Residents and protesters violently resisted police efforts to evacuate Amona. Many protesters barricaded themselves inside a synagogue. The police did not recommend charging any of the synagogue protesters, though 17 officers were injured there in incidents captured on police videotape.