George Sa'ado's Last Picture
George Sa'ado's Last PictureCourtesy of the Family

An Arab teenager who shot and killed Jewish father-of-five George Sa'ado in early 2012 has been sentenced to 12 years in prison. He has also been ordered to pay his victim’s family 140,000 shekels in restitution.

George Sa'ado was shot and killed by a gang of young Arab men as he walked his dog near his family home in the mixed Jewish-Arab city of Ramle in central Israel.

The gang made multiple efforts to start a fight with Sa’ado. When he twice failed to respond to curses and insults, two of the youth approached him and began throwing stones at him and kicking his dog.

Sa’ado informed the youths that he was unarmed, and attempted to walk away. As he turned to go, one attacker shot Sa’ado in the back. After Sa’ado fell, the same attacker fired two more shots, one of which killed Sa’ado’s dog.

Sa’ado was critically injured and died a short time later of his wounds.

The shooter was originally accused of murder, but the charges were downgraded to manslaughter under a plea bargain in which he confessed to his crime. He cannot be named because he was 17 at the time of the killing.

A neighbor who spoke to Sa’ado in the moments before he died reported that Sa’ado told him the shooters had attacked him due to his Jewish nationality. “They said it was because of the situation in Gaza,” Sa’ado reportedly said.

His family has said that the shooting was terrorism, but that politicians and police are deliberately hiding that fact.

“The state has an interest in saying it was criminally motivated so they do not have to spend money on compensating terror victims," son Naor Sa’ado told Arutz Sheva after the killing. "Mayor Yoel Lavi also wants to keep it criminal so people do not say that there is terror here. Everyone has an interest. But the truth is my father's last words."