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Court Worsens Sentence of Man Convicted of Beating Arab

Supreme Court worsens the sentence of Shilo resident Tzvi Strook, who was convicted of beating an Arab in a questionable case.
By Elad Benari
First Publish: 8/14/2012, 6:12 AM

Arab rioters (file)
Arab rioters (file)
Binyamin Residents' Council

Supreme Court judges Salim Jubran, Yoram Danziger and Uri Shoham accepted on Monday the State's appeal over the sentence imposed on Tzvi Strook, a resident of the Shomron (Samaria) community of Shilo who was convicted in November of 2010 of kidnapping an Arab, beating him and causing him serious bodily harm.

The judges determined that Strook, the son of Orit Strook who heads the Judea and Samaria Human Rights Organization, will serve 30 months in prison instead of the 18 months to which he was originally sentenced.

Strook’s indictment alleged that he, along with another man, beat a PA Arab shepherd and dragged him onto a tractor. The shepherd was injured and consequently lost consciousness, claims the indictment.

The judges also rejected Strook’s appeal over his very conviction and the severity of the punishment imposed on him.

Strook denied the accusations against him all along and said they were false. His legal council said that the police work was sloppy and that the testimonies by the Arabs were contradictory. 

Orit Strook criticized the Supreme Court over its decision, saying, “Unlike the Court, which preferred to believe the Arab witnesses, we believe in and are confident of Zviki’s innocence. We feel pain over the success of those who wished him ill, and we'll try to help him withstand the harsh sentence imposed on him.”

Yehudit Katsover and Nadia Matar, who head the Women in Green organization, said that the Court’s verdict proved that Orit Strook’s work was important and said the Court sought to hurt Orit Strook through her son.

“The law enforcement system has been waiting for this day! They found a way to try and stop Orit Strook, head of the Yesha Human Rights organization, known for her fearless and thorough investigations against those who abuse the Jews in Judea and Samaria,” said Katsover and Matar.

“Today it was proven how effective and important Orit's work is and how much the legal system fears her. Not only did the Supreme Court not accept her son's appeal but they punished him even more; sending him to 30 months in prison. The injustice cries out! There is no reason in the world that Orit's son should be punished and sit in jail because of the wonderful public work his mother is doing,” they added.

“We demand a real trial, a trial of justice and truth in which it will be proven beyond any doubt that Tzvi Strook is completely innocent!”