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State seeks harsher sentence for Arab man in Jerusalem assault case

Prosecution unhappy with plea arrangement that gives 23-year-old man 11 months for racially motivated attack on worshippers heading to Western Wall

Illustrative: Police officers near Jerusalem's Old City, on December 19, 2021. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)
Illustrative: Police officers near Jerusalem's Old City, on December 19, 2021. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

State prosecutors on Thursday filed an appeal against what they deemed as an overly lenient, 11-month sentence handed to an Arab man convicted for the racially motivated assault of two Jewish worshipers in Jerusalem last April.

According to the indictment against the 23-year-old, the suspect was driving in his vehicle when he noticed the two victims making their way to the Western Wall. At that point, he decided to target them “due to racist motives,” the rap sheet said.

He cut them off with his vehicle, got out of his car holding a sharp object and used it to strike both of them repeatedly in the face while shouting “Allahu Akbar,” according to the indictment.

No mention was made in the indictment regarding the extent of the victims’ injuries.

In submitting its appeal to the Jerusalem Magistrate’s Court, the prosecution argued that the 11-month sentence was too lenient and does not match the severity of the crime.

The attack came weeks before a much larger wave of Jewish-Arab violence, partially fueled by the spring Gaza war and protests in Jerusalem surrounding the slated eviction of several Palestinian families in the neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah.

Hundreds of indictments have been filed against Jews and Arabs over days of rioting in which mobs on each side attacked members of the opposite ethnicity, in a rash of violence not seen in decades.

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