Daily Israel Report

Dromi Thief Back at It; Court Gives Him 7 Years in Prison

Five years later, one of the thieves shot by Shai Dromi has been caught stealing from farms in the north.
By David Lev
First Publish: 11/3/2011, 1:26 PM

Cattle farmer
Cattle farmer
Flash 90

Israeli farmer Shai Dromi was cleared of manslaughter charges in 2009, after going on trial for the death of Khaled el-Atrash. The Bedouin thief, Dromi told the court, had apparently poisoned his watchdog and were in the process of relieving him of animals and equipment, when he caught them and shot at them, wounding el-Atrash, who later died. The incident was the impetus for the Knesset's passage of what is popularly known as the Dromi Law, which allows Israelis in many cases to shoot at home invaders without having to worry about prosecution afterwards.

Along with al-Atrash were three other thieves who initially managed to get away. One of them turned out to be Ayoub al-Hawashla, who was injured in the incident. He was arrested, and was sentenced to a suspended sentence.

However, al-Hawashla returned to his “job” of thieving almost as soon as he was mended – and now he has been sentenced to 5.5 years in prison, after participating in a series of thefts, this time in northern Israel. Al-Hawashla “specializes” in stealing farming equipment, animals, and agricultural products. But he has shown himself quite adept at mugging people, one of the crimes he was convicted for; he and his gang attacked and robbed an elderly woman, and they also broke into homes and offices to steal. They also stole several safes and other property from offices of kibbutzim in the north.

The court added the suspended sentence to the time al-Hawashla and his partner will need to s.erve – and as a result, he will remain in prison for seven years, the court said.

The Israel Cattle Raisers Association congratulated the court for its decision, and for its willingness to stand up for the rights of farmers who are targeted by gangs of thieves.