State to Appeal Too-Light Sentence on Arab Who Tried to Murder Jew

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View of Shaar Yaffo and the walls of Yerushalayim’s Old City, as seen from Migdal David. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

The state has filed a petition against what it said was a punishment not severe enough imposed in January on Mahmad Razam, who threw a cinder block on the head of a Jew in the Old City of Yerushalayim. Razam was sentenced to 54 months in prison in a plea deal, admitting guilt on charges of aggravated terrorism. Besides the jail sentence, he will have to pay NIS 10,000 to his victim.

The incident occurred in January 2018, when the Jewish resident of the Old City was walking home. Razam, threw the cinder block on the victim’s head from a height of four meters, injuring him and causing him to require stitches. At the trial, it emerged that Razam and other Arabs had threatened the victim numerous times, demanding that he leave his home. The Jewish victim took to wearing a plastic protective shield under his hat, and only thus avoided having his skull bashed in.

The state said in its petition that Razam deserved a harsher punishment, since “by his actions he could have injured any passerby with serious injuries. We believe that the imposed punishment is not sufficient for the crime. We cannot accept the fact that no one was seriously injured as a matter of “luck,” and we must examine and rule according to the potential of the incident and action. The action could have led to death.”

The appeal was prompted by attorney Chaim Bleicher of the Honenu rights group, who represented the victim. Bleicher thanked the state for its appeal, saying that “from the beginning we have been saying that the perpetrator tried to murder my client only because he was Jewish. We appreciate that authorities arrested and tried him, but we regret that he was not originally convicted of attempted murder for nationalistic purposes, as he should have been.”

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