Four Life Terms for Killing Four Arab Workers

Hillel Fendel , | updated: 14:55

Asher Weisgan, who shot and killed four Arabs traveling with him in his car on the day the Disengagement began last year, has been sentenced to four life-terms.

A 39-year-old father of two, Weisgan worked as a driver transporting Arab workers to and from work every day. On the day of the murder, Weisgan stopped at the guard booth upon leaving the Shilo industrial area to get their ID cards, then suddenly pulled out a gun and shot the Arabs, killing four of them on the spot.

He later said he killed them in the hopes of stopping the expulsion. Neighbors in the town of Shvut Rachel, north of Jerusalem, expressed surprise, saying Weisgan was a non-observant Jew who did not attend rallies or show interest in Israeli politics.

Nationalist-camp media personality Haggai Segal says that last year's widespread warnings by left-wing personalities against right-wing violence was instrumental in causing the quadruple murder.

"All of last year," Segal wrote in the weekly Makor Rishon recently, "the security authorities and the media were busy warning us of evil right-wing schemes to use violence to stop the Disengagement. It now turns out that these warnings not only did not prevent violence, but actually encouraged it.

"At Weisgan's conviction earlier this month, the judges quoted his explanation for why he committed the murders: 'I wanted to save the Nation of Israel from the [results of] the Disengagement. Time was running out and the date of the Disengagement was getting closer, and then one day, suddenly [then-Shabak head] Avi Dichter says in a television interview that only a lone Jewish attacker could stop the Disengagement... These thoughts began to take root within me that maybe I should do something and that it was a good idea, a good way to stop the Disengagement...'"