Monday, March 28 10:20 Jerusalem Magistrate Court Judge Eilata Ziskind sentenced an Eli resident convicted of attacking Arabs and assaulting a policeman to a prison term of two months and an additional five months suspended sentence. An additional man accused in the case was sentenced to community service. The event took place approximately two and a half years ago in the area of the Ramat Migron outpost in the Binyamin region. After the police forces destroyed the outpost, a group of Jews clashed with Arabs that were harvesting olives near the outpost. The Arabs attacked Alex, a young resident of Eli, and another youth, dragged them into the olive grove, held a knife to one of their throats and threw a large rock at his head. The remaining youths called for backup and ran towards the Arabs who were startled and released the kidnapped, one of whom was wounded in the head. Afterwards a rock throwing skirmish ensued until IDF soldiers and border police arrived. When the border policemen and soldiers arrived, the settlers pointed in the direction of the Arab that had threatened the youths with a knife and also wounded one of them in the head, however the soldiers refused to examine the Arab and began to distance the settlers. During the clashes two of the settlers were arrested on a claim that they threw rocks at the Arabs. One of them was Alex, who was one of the two kidnapped. In video footage of the event an Arab border police officer by the name Ra’ami Saif is seen as he struggles with Alex and then decides to arrest him. In the background the shouts of the settlers demanding that the soldiers deal with the attacking Arabs are heard. Alex complained that he was threatened with a rock by the Arabs and also sprayed with tear gas during the kidnapping, but nevertheless the police decided to arrest him. Yechiel Laks, the second arrested in the event, succeeded in photographing with his cell phone one of the Arabs threatening Alex with a rock, but according to the arrested a Binyamin police officer by the name of Raphael Elbaz erased the photograph from the cell phone in order to hide evidence. The prosecution demanded that Alex be sentenced to prison whereas for Laks, an expellee from Gush Katif currently serving as a combat soldier, the prosecution requested community service. As previously stated Alex was sentenced to a seven month prison term, five months of which a suspended sentence. Additionally he was required to pay a fine of 1,000 NIS to border police officer Ra’ami Saif and an additional 2,000 NIS to the Arabs who complained that he attacked them. Laks was sentenced to 45 days of community service, a suspended sentence and also similar monetary compensation to the officer and the Arabs. Judge Ziskind wrote in the verdict that the Arabs who complained did not behave properly as they did not call for the police to handle the Jews that attacked them and took the law into their own hands when they injured one of them. Even so, Judge Ziskind accepted their claims. Attorney Michael Davidov from the public defense represented Alex whereas an attorney from the law office of Attorney Naftali Wertzberger represented Laks on behalf of Honenu. A postponement was given until an appeal is submitted to the regional court.
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