Handgun (illustrative)
Handgun (illustrative)Israel news photo: Flash 90

A man whose son killed a fellow 13-year-old classmate with his gun was sentenced to 350 hours of community service. In addition, he will donate NIS 25,000 (about $6,500) to a charity to be chosen by the victim's parents.

In 2009, the 13-year-old son of a man from the central Israeli town of Re'ut removed a gun from the bedroom closet of his father, and loaded it with bullets, which were kept separately. The incident occurred during a sleepover, when the boy showed his friends the gun. The boy pointed the weapon at the victim, Oren Mizrahi, and pulled the trigger. A bullet entered the victim's head, and he died on his way to the hospital.

The boy claimed that the shooting was accidental, and he was treated by the courts as a minor, given counseling and community service. However, government attorneys sought to bring charges against his father, claiming he had acted “with negligence” in not ensuring that the gun could not be accessed by other members of the family. The gun was kept in a locked closet, but apparently the son was able to get hold of a key to open it.

The father was declared innocent of death by negligence in a court decision in 2012. However, prosecutors still sought to convict him on lesser charges of negligent handling of firearms. On Monday, a Ramle court said that while he was guilty of negligence, jail time would not be necessary, as the family of the victim had left town and there was no reason to remove the father from the community for his son's actions. Instead of jail time, the court sentenced the man to community service.