Suspect in court (file)
Suspect in court (file)Flash 90

A regional court in Haifa on Tuesday sentenced three young Arabs to 15 months of jail time, after they were found guilty of the attempted "lynch" murder of an IDF soldier next to Haifa's Rambam Hospital in February, 2012.

The three began throwing bricks and other objects at the off-duty soldier who was being brought to the hospital for treatment by another off-duty soldier, after asking if the two were Jewish. The Arabs proceed to beat the soldiers with metal sticks and stones, shouting anti-Semitic curses and slogans at them.

Furthermore, using a knife, the Arabs carved the word “PLO” (Palestinian Liberation Organization) onto the soldier's forehead.

While the police initially treated the crime as being nationally motivated due to the forehead carving and anti-Semitism, the court indictment merely accused the three of causing damage with malicious intent.

The three were given an additional 18 months to 2 years of suspended sentence, as well as 10,000 shekels ($2,848) in compensation from each of the accused.

Judge Moshe Gilad defended the leniency of the ruling, arguing that the defendants' "regret, which appeared to me sincere, the long period [prior to trial] during which their freedom was limited, and the chance for rehabilitation all justify the imposition of a moderate and proportional jail term."

Judge Gilad noted that the severity of the crime and the need to deter similar deeds warranted a prison sentence, and said that the fact the accused are minors does not grant them immunity.