World Bulletin / News Desk
An Israeli court jailed six Israeli Arab citizens on Thursday over killing an Israeli soldier who was involved in a deadly shooting rampage on a bus in the center of the Arab city of Shfaram in 2005.
Israeli soldier Natan Zada, a Jewish extremist, took a passenger bus from Haifa to Shfaram and opened fire on the passengers, killing four Arabs and wounding 15 others. When he ran out of ammunition, a group of Palestinian youths attacked him and beat him to death.
The Israeli district court sentenced three men to two years in jail, three others to 11- to 20-month terms, and the sixth was sentenced to a suspended eight-month jail term.
After the sentencing, Arab demonstrators blocked the road outside the court in protest, triggering clashes with the Israeli police. Nine demonstrators were arrested.
Arab Israeli Knesset member Jamal Zahalka slammed the ruling as "unfair." "The men who prevent the continuation of the massacre in Shfaram should have been awarded with a medal of honor," Zahalka was quoted as saying by Palestinian Ma'an news agency
Shafaamr Mayor Ameen Anabtawi told Anadolu Agency that the ruling "shows the racism of Israel against Arab people."
“Shafa municipality members will attend a meeting with the Higher Arab Monitoring Committee to discuss the possibility of appealing the ruling,” Anabtawi added
Jameel Anees Safouri, one of the men convicted today, told AA that the Israeli court "should have set us free because we were defending ourselves against an extremist criminal.”
“My family now lives in fear because I would go into prison because of an offence that I did not commit,” he said.
Basel Khateb, another defendant, told AA that they have a 45-day appeal window before the enforcement of the ruling. "We will not accept this verdict and we will appeal it,” he added.Last Mod: 29 Kasım 2013, 09:28