Pinner Sentenced to Two Years

Daniel Pinner was sentenced to two years in prison today. He was convicted of having injured an Arab in Gush Katif by shooting in the air when an Arab mob attacked him with rocks.

Hillel Fendel, | updated: 16:36

Pinner, 38, has been in Ramle's Maasiyahu Prison since June 2005, and can therefore be expected to be released six and a half months from now, if he receives one-third off for "good behavior." He has not been allowed to leave jail even one time since his incarceration - except for trips to the Be'er Sheva District Court.

Pinner was arrested on June 22 for allegedly firing at and injuring an Arab "with intent to cause harm" on the Gush Katif beach. Arab witnesses later admitted in court that they were part of a group throwing rocks at Pinner.

An unmarried licensed electrician, Pinner was in Gush Katif at the time to volunteer his services in the refurbishing of the Palm Beach Hotel for new families. He was taking a walk on the beach when "about 50 Arabs throwing rocks attacked me," he said. "I was carrying an Uzi, so I shot in the air. After a few yards they began throwing rocks again, so I fired several more shots in the air. The Arabs then backed off, and I went back to the hotel. Four days later I was arrested at home, with the police claiming that I had shot one of the Arabs and wounded him. First they said in the chest, later it turned out that there was an Arab who claimed to have been shot in the leg..."

Pinner said that his life was "clearly in danger."

Though no proof was brought that the Arab had been shot by Pinner, the accused remained in prison "until the end of the proceedings" for seven months until his conviction. No judge in Israel was willing to release him even to a form of house arrest, including Supreme Court Justice Eliezer Rivlin, who ruled on the case in late December. "It looked at first like he saw through the whole story [and would release him to house arrest]," Pinner's lawyer Baruch Ben-Yosef said, "but in the end, the usual happened... [The judge] said that the case is almost over, and things like that."

Ben-Yosef said earlier today that he hoped the sentence would not be more than two years, but was not confident; the Prosecutor had asked for a seven-year sentence.

Shlomo Wollins of IsraelReporter.com, who was in the courtroom for sentencing, told IsraelNationalRadio's Yishai and Malkah Fleisher that Pinner is in "very good spirits." Wollins said that Pinner is even happy to have "studied more Torah over the past eight months than during the eight years before that."

Daniel Pinner said he would appreciate messages from supporters via voicemail at
03-906-8079 (+972-3-906-8079 from outside Israel), or by regular mail at: Daniel Pinner, Maasiyahu Prison, POB 13, 72100.



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