Jerusalem Arab gets year in prison for abusing haredi coworker

Jerusalem court hands down one-year prison sentence to Arab supermarket employee who was filmed abusing handicapped haredi coworker.

By World Israel News Staff

On Sunday, the Jerusalem District Court fined Jerusalem resident Kamal Khamidan 10,000 shekels and sentenced him to one year in prison. Khamidan had been found guilty of abusing a handicapped haredi coworker.

Khamidan and two other suspects, one Arab and one Jewish, were arrested in August 2019.

Khamidan and the second Arab suspect were charged with abuse, while the Jewish suspect allegedly knew of the abuse but failed to intervene or alert authorities.

The perpetrators humiliated and abused the victim while being filmed. The videos were then uploaded to social media.

The abuse took place at a branch of the Shufersal supermarket chain in Gush Etzion, south of Jerusalem.

In one of the videos, the victim, Y. can be seen being wrapped in saran wrap, while one of the suspects slapped him in the face and neck.

The culprits denied accusations of abuse, claiming they were friends with the victim and that they videos were taken out of context.

“The video and an investigation into the incident revealed that the damage done to the victim was and remains substantial,” the court found in its ruling against Khamidan.

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“The defendant has no mental or emotional disability; was he unable to comprehend, as a human being, the wrongness of his deeds? Does the defendant need guidance from his employer in order to refrain from wrapping cling wrap around a special-needs employee? Beating him, tying him up? And all while this was being filmed?”

MK Itamar Ben-Gvir (Religious Zionist Party), who represented the victim during the trial, said the court had sent an “important message” by handing down a prison term but lamented that the sentence was not for two years – the maximum typically given in such cases.

“This sentence handed down by the court sends an important message, but it should have been a harsher sentence. The Court has determined that the ballpark for such crimes is between 12 and 24 months in prison, and in this serious case of abuse it would have been fitting to hand down the maximum sentence possible.”

Over the past few years, there has been a marked increase in the use of social media outlets such as Youtube and TikTok to spread videos of Israeli Arabs and Palestinian Authority residents abusing, harassing, or assaulting Israeli Jews.

The phenomenon, dubbed “TikTok Terror,” has drawn the attention of Israeli police, which has vowed to combat the trend.