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Two Israeli Settlers Sentenced to Prison for Axe Attack on Palestinian Family in West Bank

12:00 Jun 19 2024 Israel's Central District Court in Lod (לוד اللِّد)

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Photos: Published by Haaretz
A building and several vehicles which were destroyed by settlers in the West Bank town of Huwara, last year. Credit: JAAFAR ASHTIYEH - AFP

An aerial view of burnt and destroyed vehicles in the town of Huwara after settlers set houses and cars on fire, last year. Credit: Ilia Yefimovich/dpa
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The two settlers were sentenced to three years in prison after being convicted of a racially-motivated assault on five family members and vandalizing cars during the Huwara riot in 2023. The two men admitted to the charges filed against them

by Bar Peleg for Haaretz
Jun 19, 2024 8:01 pm IDT

Two Israeli West Bank settlers were sentenced to prison by the Central District Court in Lod on Wednesday for assaulting a Palestinian family with an axe during a settler riot in Huwara in March 2023. The settlers were from the Givat Ronen outpost.

Hanoch Akiva Rabin, 26, was sentenced to 3.5 years, and Raz Chaim Giron, 22, was sentenced to three years, after they were convicted of the offenses of racially-motivated injury and aggravated assault and racially-motivated malicious damage to a car. The court also ordered them to pay the family 45,000 shekels in compensation.

The two men admitted to the charges in the indictment filed against them, saying that they went with other settlers to a supermarket parking lot in Huwara, near Nablus, while wearing masks and armed with an axe and hammer, stones, and pepper spray. Rabin and Giron began throwing stones at cars in the parking lot, and five members of a Palestinian family were in one of them – a grandfather, grandmother, the parents, and a girl – having just finished shopping.

The verdict states that Rabin threw the axe at the car, smashed the windows, and attacked the father who was sitting in the driver's seat, wounding him. Giron and other suspects smashed the car's windshield, threw stones inside, wounded the grandfather, and pepper sprayed the inside. The assault only stopped when the father drove away, even as the assailants continued to throw stones and shout "death to Arabs."

The riots in Huwara occurred in late February and early March last year. Masked settlers assaulted and wounded residents in the town, and set fire to house and dozens of cars. The riots started after the terrorist attack that killed the brothers Yagel and Hillel Yaniv in February 2023.

"They entered everywhere possible, they torched houses and vandalized cars," Abed al-Rahman, a Hawara resident, told Haaretz. He said some of the attackers carried guns and some threw Molotov cocktails at homes. "From inside the houses we heard only shouting. Many families ran outside for fear of being burned alive," he said.
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