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Teen settler gets 20 months for stun grenade attack on West Bank Palestinian homes

Judge rejects proposed plea deal with shorter prison term, says defendant acted out of ‘racist and nationalistic’ motives in January assault on village of Sarta as residents slept

A stun grenade thrown into a Palestinian home in Sarta in the West Bank, apparently by Israeli settlers, January 2021. (Israel Police)
A stun grenade thrown into a Palestinian home in Sarta in the West Bank, apparently by Israeli settlers, January 2021. (Israel Police)

The Lod District Court on Wednesday sentenced a teenage Israeli settler to 20 months in prison for throwing stun grenades into Palestinian homes in the West Bank at the beginning of the year.

Judge Hagai Tarsi rejected a proposed plea bargain that would have seen the defendant, now 18, serve just 12 months, and also ordered him to pay NIS 60,000 ($18,950) to the Palestinian families he attacked in the village of Sarta.

Tarsi described the attack, which was caught on security cameras, as being carried out due to “racist and nationalist outlook and motives.”

Lior Amihai, executive director of the Yesh Din legal aid group assisting the Palestinian victims, noted that by not accepting the plea bargain, the judge had shown that “violence by settlers against Palestinians, wherever they are, must pay a heavy price.”

The defendant, 17 at the time of the attack, was arrested in February along with four other suspects in connection with the attack in the Palestinian village in the northern West Bank on January 4. His name has not been published.

The court found the defendant and seven others — three of whom have yet to be identified — drove to Sarta in two vehicles in the middle of the night and entered the village on foot, armed with stun grenades, large stones, and a sharp instrument.

The convicted man threw a stun grenade into two homes as families slept inside. Together with the others involved, he also hurled stones at four homes and vehicles, causing damage.

As a result of the attack, a Palestinian man, 61 was injured in the forehead from broken glass, while his daughter, 17, suffered a serious anxiety attack and dizziness. The man and the teen were both taken to the hospital for medical treatment. In total, 22 Palestinians suffered injuries during the attack.

Village residents alerted Palestinian police to the attack and they, in turn, contacted Israeli authorities.

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