A Jewish Israeli man was sentenced on Monday to 11 years in prison for stabbing another Jewish man he mistook for an Arab in October 2015, in a bungled revenge attack.
The Haifa District Court also handed Shlomo Pinto, 33, from the northern Israeli city of Kiryat Ata, another 18-month suspended sentence and ordered him to pay NIS 50,000 ($13,600) compensation to the victim. Pinto, who was convicted in December of attempted murder and “possession of a knife for racist motives,” has been in jail since his arrest, and his sentence includes time served.
The stabbing took place at the beginning of a nearly yearlong wave of Palestinian terror attacks, many of them knifings, that some pundits dubbed “the knife intifada.”
In sentencing Pinto, the judges wrote that while he had apologized to his victim, Uri Razkan, and was “convinced that his action was wrong,” his regret was partially due to the fact that he had misidentified Razkan “and caused such significant harm to someone whom he refers to as his ‘brother’ — meaning a Jew.”
After deciding to take revenge on Arabs because of the stabbings, Pinto entered a supermarket in Kiryat Ata, near Haifa, and approached an Arab man, asking him if he was Arab. The man was apparently frightened by the question, and said he was not.
Pinto, satisfied with the answer, moved on. Minutes later, he identified Razkan and, concluding from his appearance that he was Arab, proceeded to stab him in the upper torso.
Security-camera footage of the attack shows Pinto approaching Razkan from behind and stabbing him as he was stocking shelves in the store. After a brief scuffle, Razkan manages to run away, chased by Pinto, who first stops to pick up his fallen skullcap.
Pinto was subdued by shoppers shortly after and Razkan was hospitalized with light to moderate injuries.
“I’m working, and suddenly I feel four knife stabs in my back,” Razkan told Army Radio at the time. “I heard a shout, ‘You deserve it, you deserve it, Arab bastards!’ When I turn around I see an ultra-Orthodox man. I shouted to him, ‘I’m a Jew,’ but he tried to continue. I just ran away; otherwise I would have been killed.”