Two Settlers Convicted of Torching Palestinian-owned Car

Conviction comes as part of plea bargain; settlers to serve 30 months in prison.

Tali Mayer / Archive

An Israeli court on Sunday found two settlers guilty of torching a Palestinian-owned car in November 2013.

Yehuda Savir and Yehuda Lansberg, from the West Bank outpost of Havat Gilad, were indicted in February for torching a car and truck and spray painting a Star of David on a wall in the Palestinian village of Farata in the northern West Bank.

Their conviction resulted from a negotiated plea bargain. The indictment was based on detailed statements that Savir and Lansberg gave to security forces, in which they incriminated a third accomplice, Binyamin Richter.

However, those statements were made after the suspects were barred from consulting with their lawyer, and they later denied involvement in the incident, claiming they confessed only after enduring undue pressure from Shin Bet interrogators.

The parties reached a plea agreement on Saturday, according to which the two would confess, and both prosecutors and defense attorneys would seek 30 months in prison and no fine.

Judge Dvora Atar accepted the plea bargain, and the two will be sentenced in three weeks' time.

The trial of Richter, who in May was charged with assaulting a Palestinian man and his daughter, continues.