Israeli Who Helped Beat, Kill Mistaken Terrorist Sentenced to 100 Days of Public Service

Police and rescue workers at the scene of a shooting and stabbing attack at the Central Bus Station in the southern city of Be’er Sheva, in October 2015. (Meir Even Haim/Flash90)

An Israeli who participated in the beating to death of an Eritrean migrant worker was sentenced to 100 days of public service work, an eight month suspended sentence, and a payment of NIS 2,000 to the family of the victim, in the wake of an attack on the man after the stabbing to death of an IDF soldier at the Be’er Sheva bus station in October 2015. The migrant, Haftam Zarhoum, was mistaken for the terrorist who murdered IDF soldier Omri Levy, Hy”d.

The murderer of the soldier was Mohand Al-Akoby, an Israeli Arab from the Bedouin community of Hura. Al-Akoby, equipped with a gun and a knife, shot the soldier and then used his weapon to shoot several police officers. Several civilians were also lightly injured. In response, a police officer shot the terrorist, leaving him in critical condition.

In the confusion, security forces mistook Zarhoum for the terrorist, and shot him, badly injuring him. He was still alive when a mob of frightened Israelis, in shock from the attack, began kicking him and stomping on him. By the time police were able to break up the melee, the Eritrean had died from his wounds.

Moyal was a member of that mob, seen prominently kicking and punching Zarhoum. He was originally charged with deliberately attempting to cause serious injuries, but the court reduced the charges against him to beating an individual who was unable to defend himself. Prosecutors agreed to a plea deal based on the those charges, saying that the incident was “very serious and very exceptional,” and that Moyal has apparently been swept up in the “collective anger” of those in the bus station over the murder of the soldier.

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