Magistrates Court Judge Dana Marshak Marom today allowed the publication of the verdict in the case of one of the defendants in the Gush Talmonim affair. The suspect was 17-years-old at the time of the act.
The judge determined that the boy committed the following offenses: membership in a terrorist organization, arson, assault under aggravated circumstances motivated by racism, sabotage with aggravated intent and other offenses. The boy was acquitted on the charge of possession of a weapon. Since it was determined that he committed the crimes as a minor
According to the indictment, during the years 2009-2013, Jewish extremists in the Binyamin area carried out actions termed 'price tag' attacks. These actions included criminal activities such as arson and vandalism, such as the use of spray paint to write 'price tag' on Arab property.
The perpetrators of the attacks sought, among other things, to instill fear and panic among the Arab residents of Judea and Samaria and to convey messages to the security forces and to the public in Israel on security issues. The defendant was convicted of committing the acts within the framework of his membership in a terrorist organization.
According to one of the charges, the minor and another minor wanted to convey a message to government officials in Israel that arresting and interrogating the suspects in the Duma affair would not prevent "price tag" attacks and conspired to perpetrate attacks against the Arab population. On December 22, 2015, the two arrived at a house on the outskirts of the village of Beitilu, where an Arab couple and their 9-month-old son were sleeping. The other minor spray-painted the inscription on the wall of the house: "Revenge for the Prisoners of Zion." The two shattered a nearby window, threw tear gas canisters into the house, and ran away, while being aware that the house was occupied.
According to another indictment, in November 2015, in light of the terrorist attacks perpetrated against Jewish civilians at the time, the two decided to carry our a revenge attack and conspired to set fire to two buildings in which Arabs lived. The two arrived at a family home in the village of Mazra'a al-Qibliya while the family slept inside, threw Molotov Cocktails at the building, then ran away.
In another charge, the defendant and others were accused of plotting to carry out an attack in response to the murder of Eitan and Nechama Henkin. They threw stones at Arab vehicles and set tires on fire. They also traveled to an Arab village and beat an Arab man.
The court ruled that "... the facts of the indictment are sufficient to lead to the conclusion that the defendant, together with defendant 2, acted together to carry out severe terrorist attacks against Arab citizens because of their origin, while the two most serious attacks ... were carried out on their own .... A clear picture emerges of the association of the two, who acted in a systematic and ongoing pattern of ideological motives ... The two defendants committed serious acts of violence together for a year within the framework of the same organization, including throwing Molotov Cocktails into a house in the middle of the night, throwing tear gas canisters at a populated house, throwing stones at passenger cars, arson and destruction of vehicles, and the brutal attack of a Palestinian bystander ... It is not a matter of sporadic incidents, but rather a sequence of acts of crime centered on the intent to harm the body and property of Palestinians solely because of their origin, when the personal identity of the victims of the offense was unknown to the defendants."
The court also held that "the statements made by the defendant in the various investigations indicate that the acts of violence against the body and property were intended to achieve a change in policy (in contrast to criminal targets) by imposing fear and terror ... Furthermore, there is no dispute that in most of the offenses and activities, as described in the indictment, the defendant acted as a reprisal for attacks against Jews or as a protest against the government's policy on the Duma affair. In court, he admitted that the ideology behind the operation was "to harm the Arabs because they harm us."
Attorney Dan Cohen and Rinat Aviri of the District Attorney's Office (Central District), who managed the case, said that "the court ruled that the defendant committed violent crimes and property that were motivated by racism and directed against Palestinians and their property, solely because of their religious or national affiliation, and also determined that he committed offenses within the framework of a terrorist organization. The affair illustrates that the law enforcement authorities are working with full determination to eliminate acts of violence that constitute acts of terrorism and on a clearly nationalistic background."