Pales­tinian boy sen­tenced to prison over knife at­tack

Kuwait Times - - NEWS -

An Is­raeli court sen­tenced three Pales­tinian teenagers to more than a decade in prison yes­ter­day for stab­bing Is­raelis, in­clud­ing a 14-year-old in­volved in one of the most high-pro­file at­tacks. The sen­tences drew crit­i­cism from Pales­tini­ans and rights ac­tivists who said the youths should not be given such long jail terms. Ahmed Mansura, 14, was sen­tenced to 12 years af­ter hav­ing ear­lier been found guilty of the at­tempted mur­der of two Is­raelis, a 20-year-old and a 12-year-old boy. He was 13 at the time of the Oct 2015 at­tack in the Jew­ish set­tle­ment neigh­bor­hood of Pis­gat Zeev in an­nexed east Jerusalem.

The stab­bings led to a pro­pa­ganda war be­tween Pales­tini­ans and Is­raelis, sparked by sur­veil­lance footage later re­leased of the in­ci­dent. Manasra car­ried out the at­tack along with his 15-year-old cousin Has­san, who was shot dead by se­cu­rity forces. The two Is­raelis were se­ri­ously wounded. In ad­di­tion to the jail term, the Jerusalem dis­trict court or­dered Manasra to pay 80,000 shekels ($21,000) in com­pen­sa­tion to the adult vic­tim and 100,000 to the boy, the rul­ing said. His lawyer Lea Tsemel said she planned to ap­peal the sen­tence. The sen­tenc­ing and trial were closed to jour­nal­ists be­cause Manasra is a mi­nor. Pros­e­cu­tors had re­quested 12 years.

‘Not-Pos­si­ble Fine’

“Although the ac­cused was a mi­nor, he tried to harm hu­man life and there is no other op­tion than to give him jail time,” prose­cu­tor Yu­val Kei­dar told jour­nal­ists af­ter the sen­tenc­ing. Manasra had ear­lier pleaded not guilty, say­ing he had not per­son­ally stabbed ei­ther of the vic­tims and had only in­tended to frighten them. The teenager ap­peared calm as he en­tered and left the court­room in east Jerusalem in hand­cuffs. His fa­ther re­fused to com­ment, ask­ing jour­nal­ists to leave him alone.

“Our de­feat, of the le­gal team, is a very small de­feat com­pared to the wide and deep de­feat of both the Is­raeli so­ci­ety and the court,” said de­fense lawyer Tsemel. She said that “ev­ery­one talked about the full re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion he is go­ing through. Ev­ery­one talked about a kid who’s not dan­ger­ous at all. And de­spite this, the court ap­proved the pros­e­cu­tion’s claim and gave him the full sen­tence, plus an unimag­in­able and not-pos­si­ble fine.”

In a sep­a­rate case, the court sen­tenced a 15-year-old and a 17-year-old to 11 years in prison for stab­bing a Jew in Jerusalem’s Old City in Jan­uary. “In­ter­na­tional stan­dards are clear that all ef­forts should be di­rected to­wards re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion of the child,” Sari Bashi of Hu­man Rights Watch told AFP. “Such long sen­tences raise ques­tions re­gard­ing Is­rael’s com­mit­ment to work to­wards re­ha­bil­i­tat­ing the chil­dren.” The in­ci­dent in­volv­ing Manasra came at the be­gin­ning of a months-long wave of Pales­tinian knife, gun and car-ram­ming at­tacks. Footage re­leased by Is­raeli au­thor­i­ties in the wake of the at­tack pur­ported to show the cousins - knives in hand - fol­low­ing the Is­raeli vic­tims. It also showed Manasra, who was hit by a car as they fled, ly­ing bleed­ing on the ground in the af­ter­math of the at­tack as Is­raeli on­look­ers shouted abuse. Pales­tinian pres­i­dent Mahmoud Ab­bas later claimed he had been “ex­e­cuted”, while Is­rael scram­bled to re­lease footage of him sit­ting up and eat­ing in a Jerusalem hospi­tal bed.

— AFP

JERUSALEM: Ahmed Manasra, a 14-year old Pales­tinian boy con­victed of the at­tempted mur­der of two Is­raelis in a stab­bing in Oct 2015, leaves the Dis­trict Court af­ter his sen­tenc­ing hear­ing yes­ter­day.

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