MK Itamar Ben Gvir commenting on the sentence
MK Itamar Ben Gvir commenting on the sentenceNo credit

The Jerusalem District Court has sentenced an Arab from eastern Jerusalem to one year in prison, after finding him guilty of abusing a haredi man with special needs. Kamal Khamidan will also be fined NIS 10,000, to be paid to the haredi man as compensation.

שנת מאסר לערבי שהתעלל בעובד בעל מוגבלות בשופרסלללא

The abuse occurred in the Gush Etzion branch of the Shufersal supermarket chain where both he and the haredi man were employed. Footage of the abuse emerged three years ago, showing Khamidan apparently having tied up the haredi man with plastic wrap and hitting him with the empty roll while telling him to repeat after him, "I'm a milkman."

The Court, in its summing-up, found that, "The video and an investigation into the incident revealed that the damage done to the victim was and remains substantial. The defendant has no mental or emotional disability; was he unable to comprehend, as a human being, the wrongness of his deeds? Does the defendant need guidance from his employer in order to refrain from wrapping cling wrap around a special-needs employee? Beating him, tying him up? And all while this was being filmed?"

Responding to the sentence, Otzma Yehudit party head MK Itamar Ben Gvir, who had been representing the haredi youth before he was elected to the Knesset, said, "This sentence handed down by the court sends an important message, but it should have been a harsher sentence. The Court has determined that the ballpark for such crimes is between 12 and 24 months in prison, and in this serious case of abuse it would have been fitting to hand down the maximum sentence possible."

Attorneys Hananel Dorfman and Yosefi Mazar, now representing the special-needs youth, also issued a response to the sentencing: "The indictment that was presented describes a whole list of serious incidents which were also filmed and uploaded onto social media. This sentence does transmit an important message but it does not reflect the civic responsibility of Shufersal and of the worker himself regarding the severe damage done to our client, and we will demand the full payment of the compensation from the defendant and from Shufersal."