7 Arabs Convicted in Mob Killing

HAIFA (Reuters) -

An Israeli court convicted seven Arab citizens on Monday in connection with the mob killing in 2005 of a Jewish gunman who had open fire while on a bus in their town.

The court found for the prosecution, that the soldier had already been subdued, disarmed and handcuffed by police after his shooting spree, when a mob set upon him, trampling and stoning him to death.

None of the men was found guilty of directly causing the death of Eden Nathan-Zaada, a 19-year-old IDF soldier who had deserted the army.

While wearing a military uniform, Nathan-Zaada opened fire aboard a bus in the northern town of Shfaram, killing four Arabs. Twenty-two people, all but seven of them Arabs, were wounded.

Enraged residents of the largely Arab populated town killed Nathan-Zaada at the scene, as police tried to intervene.

Haifa District Court convicted four Shfaram men of attempted manslaughter, two others of serious aggravated assault and a seventh of assault and obstruction of a police officer.

Defense lawyer Siry Khourieh said “the indictments in my opinion should have never been presented,” having argued in court the men had acted in self-defense.