A Palestinian Authority Arab diagnosed with schizophrenia has been sentenced to a 13-year prison term for attempting to murder a Jewish woman.
The killer, a resident of the southern Judean village of Dura, was convicted of stabbing the woman in Ashkelon. The attempted murder was carried out in revenge for the death of the attacker's friend, according to court papers.
Judge Chani Sloutki noted in handing down the sentence Wednesday that the severity of the crime justified a near-lifelong imprisonment. However, she said, the fact that the attacker suffers from the psychiatric condition of schizophrenia had mitigated the decision for a shorter sentence.
Schizophrenia is defined by the A.D.A.M. Medical Encyclopedia as a complex medical disorder that makes it difficult to tell the difference between real and unreal experiences, think logically, have normal emotional responses and behave normally in social situations. Symptoms can vary.
Passed genetically, it affects both men and women equally, with onset usually somewhere usually in late adolescence. Once triggered, it is a brain disorder that is lifelong and usually, but not always, must be controlled by antipsychotic medication. There are a number of different types of schizophrenia.
Good medical care in the Palestinian Authority is limited, and quality psychiatric care even more so, making the availability of such assistance questionable at best. However, PA Arabs often obtain quality medical and other such care by crossing through checkpoints into pre-1967 Israel and seeking treatment in Israeli facilities -- including patients from the Gaza region, ruled by Hamas terrorists.