Israel’s Supreme Court has reduced the sentence of an extremist Israeli settler convicted of throwing stun grenades into Palestinian homes last year in the occupied West Bank. Judge Hagai Tarsi initially ordered the teenager, whose name has not been made public, to 20 months in prison and a fine of 60,000 shekels ($18,950), which will be paid to his victims in the village of Sarta.
The attack resulted in grenade fragments that injured a 61-year-old Palestinian man and two women, one of them pregnant. They all needed medical attention. Four other suspects were not charged.
However, Haaretz has reported that the court reduced the sentence yesterday to 12 months, after a plea bargain agreed by the defence and prosecution. The appeal against the original sentence was filed on the defendant’s behalf by Honenu, a right-wing legal aid organisation.
Tarsi said that the prosecution had failed to justify a sentence that would have provided “such an extreme benefit” to the defendant, adding that the Israeli settler actually deserved a two-and-a-half-year sentence.
The settler pleaded guilty to racially motivated conspiracy and aggravated injury. As part of his plea bargain he also admitted the possession of a knife and intentionally damaging motor vehicles. Following the Supreme Court’s decision, he will be released from prison soon.
The sentence issued is far more lenient than those handed down to Palestinian minors convicted of throwing stones. Even if no harm or damage is caused they face penalties of up to 20 years in prison.