Advah Biton criticizes Supreme Court decision

Advah Biton, mother of Adele Biton who was murdered by rock-throwing terrorists, sharply criticized High Court easing of punishment.

Yoel Domb ,

Advah Biton
Advah Biton
Yoni Kempinski

Dr. Advah Biton, mother of Adele Biton who was murdered as a result of a rock-throwing attack, sharply criticized the Supreme Court decision to ease the punishment of rock-throwing Arab youth who had received prison sentences for throwing rocks at Jewish cars.

"Until when will they exploit our good-heartedness?" asked Biton in an interview with Galei Tzahal. "We see that the terrorists who perpetrate these acts interpret our mercy as a weakness. One must act forcefully against an enemy.

"It's time the court understood that a stone is just like a firearm; David killed Goliath with stones."

Yesterday, the Supreme Court eased the punishments of seven Arab youths indicted for three different incidents of rock-throwing at vehicles. In one of the incidents, a Jewish victim was injured by the rocks, and had to undergo medical treatment.

Initially, the punishments for the youths ranged from one to three years; after they appealed, their sentences were lowered to a range of two to nine months, with a mandatory compensation of 8,500 shekels ($2,242).

According to the indictment, the rock-throwing incidents occurred about a year ago. The youth threw rocks at Jewish passersby on Route 20, which connects between Pisgat Zeev and Route 443 in Jerusalem. In another incident, they injured a haredi man who had stopped on the side of the road to fix his car.

The Arabs appealed the sentence against them in the district court. Judge Uri Shoham accepted their appeal, ruling that the punishments were severe for minors, for most of whom this was their first criminal offense.

"We view the actions of the appellants with the utmost severity, especially since we're not talking about events which developed spontaneously, but which involved on-site planning, in the framework of which the appellants formed a plan for hurting Jews - because they were Jews," Judge Shoham wrote.

"Behavior of this kind, motivated by ideological concerns, meant to disrupt daily life in the state - needs a tough and deterring response in the form of tangible punishments. However, one cannot escape the fact that all the appellants were minors, aged 13.5 to 17, at the time the crimes were committed," Shoham noted.

"This court has stood, more than once, by the fact that, even in cases involving crimes committed for nationalistic reasons, a proper balance must be maintained when dealing with the punishment of a minor."

High Court judges Neal Hendel and Zvi Zilbertal also concurred with Shoham's ruling.