First Sentence Issued in Mob Attack on Arab Driver

TEL AVIV (AP) -
A car that was burned during rioting in Lod last May while Israel fought an 11-day war with Hamas in Gaza. (Flash90)

An Israeli court on Wednesday sentenced a man to one year in prison for his involvement in a mob attack on an Arab motorist during a spasm of communal violence last year.

Lahav Nagauker, who was 20 at the time, was convicted of incitement to violence and racism as part of a plea deal that resulted in lighter charges.

His sentencing was the first in the incident that took place last May, when a mob yanked Said Moussa from his car and proceeded to beat him in an assault that left him motionless and bloodied on the ground. Moussa was seriously injured in the attack.

The court said Nagauker was not involved in the actual attack, but threw a bottle at Moussa’s car, damaging the rear windshield.

The incident, which took place in the Tel Aviv suburb of Bat Yam, occurred while Israel was at war with Hamas in the Gaza Strip. The 11-day war ignited an unprecedented wave of internecine Jewish-Arab violence in cities around the country.

According to the plea deal, Nagauker confessed to the charges against him. His one-year prison term is retroactive to the day he was arrested in May. He was also ordered to pay 2,000 shekels ($645) to a restaurant damaged in the unrest.

Nagauker is among at least 10 people who were charged in the incident. In all, hundreds of people, mostly Arabs, were arrested for the nationwide violence, which saw mobs vandalize property and violently clash, in some cases resulting in deaths.