Arab Times

Is­raeli mi­nor gets 3-1/2 years in jail

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JERUSALEM, Sept 17, (AP): An Is­raeli court sen­tenced a young man on Wed­nes­day to 3-1/2 years in prison for his role in the 2015 ar­son attack that killed a Pales­tinian tod­dler and his par­ents in the West Bank vil­lage of Duma.

The uniden­ti­fied youth, who was a mi­nor at the time of the attack, was found guilty last year of mem­ber­ship in a ter­ror­ist or­ga­ni­za­tion and in­volve­ment in a racially mo­ti­vated crime.

It was the sec­ond sen­tenc­ing this week by the Lod Dis­trict Court in the deadly 2015 Duma ar­son attack.

On Mon­day, the court handed Ami­ram Ben-Uliel, a Jewish set­tler, four life sen­tences for the killing of 18-month-old Ali Dawab­sheh in a fire­bomb attack on the fam­ily’s home. The tod­dler’s mother, Ri­ham, and fa­ther, Saad, later died of their wounds. Ali’s brother Ah­mad, 4 years old at the time, sur­vived the attack.

The attack came amid a wave of vig­i­lante at­tacks on Pales­tini­ans in the oc­cu­pied West Bank by sus­pected Jewish ex­trem­ists. The deadly fire­bomb­ing in Duma touched a par­tic­u­larly sen­si­tive nerve, draw­ing con­dem­na­tion from across Is­rael’s po­lit­i­cal spec­trum.

Ben-Uliel be­longed to a move­ment known as the “Hill­top Youth,” a lead­er­less group of young peo­ple who set up unau­tho­rized set­tle­ment out­posts, usu­ally clus­ters of trail­ers, on West Bank hill­tops - land the Pales­tini­ans claim for their hoped-for state.

The Hill­top Youth have been known to attack Pales­tini­ans and even to clash with Is­raeli sol­diers in re­sponse to per­ceived moves by the gov­ern­ment to limit set­tle­ment ac­tiv­ity.

Later in 2015, Is­rael faced a wave of stab­bing, shoot­ing and car-ram­ming at­tacks by Pales­tini­ans. Most were car­ried out by lone at­tack­ers with no con­nec­tion to mil­i­tant groups

In Wed­nes­day’s rul­ing, the Lod court said the con­victed youth will have the 32 months spent in de­ten­tion while await­ing trial counted to­ward his 3 1/2 year sen­tence.

In an­other in­ci­dent,The Is­raeli mil­i­tary struck Ha­mas mil­i­tant sites in the Gaza Strip early Wed­nes­day in re­sponse to rocket fire to­ward Is­rael the pre­vi­ous night that co­in­cided with the sign­ing of nor­mal­iza­tion agree­ments between Is­rael and two Arab coun­tries at the White House.

The bar­rage against Is­rael be­gan Tues­day night just as the cer­e­mony in Wash­ing­ton was get­ting un­der­way to for­mal­ize the new agree­ments with the United Arab Emi­rates and Bahrain. Two Is­raelis were lightly wounded.

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