Polygamy iStock

The Beer Sheva District Court accepted an appeal by the State Prosecutor and sentenced Ayman Abu Skaeiyak, the first man convicted of polygamy since enforcement was reinstated nearly one year ago, to seven months in prison.

The District Court overturned the decision handed down by the Beer Sheva Magistrates Court that sentenced Abu Skaeiyak to 6 hours of community service.

This morning the Beer Sheva District Court accepted an appeal by the State Prosecutor, setting aside the decision of the lower Magistrates Court handed down earlier this year: The first person convicted of polygamy since the recent government decision to enforce existing laws forbidding it in the State of Israel will serve seven months of prison time.

The Regavim Movement, which has taken an active role in the fight against polygamy in Israel, applauded this morning’s District Court judgement.

“We welcome the District Court decision, and congratulate the State Prosecutor’s Office for its resolute action to insure that the crime of polygamy is more than a symbolic prohibition in Israel’s legal code. Aside from the harm this practice causes to women and children, polygamy is a symbol of the State of Israel’s absence in the Negev. For all intents and purposes, the Bedouin sector has been 'ungoverned' by the State for far too long. Although today’s District Court decision is a drop of water in a sea of illegality, it sets a significant and much-needed precedent for law enforcement.”