Jerusalem court sentences rock-throwers who killed Israeli driver

A Jerusalem court sentenced Israeli-Arab rock throwers who caused the death of a Jewish driver, emphasizing the risk posed by such attacks.  

By Margot Dudkevitch, World Israel News

The Jerusalem District Court on Thursday sentenced three Israeli Arabs to prison terms ranging from three to 15 years for the 2015 death of Alexander Levlovich.

Levlovich, 64, was returning to his Jerusalem home on the eve of Rosh Hashana, the Jewish New Year, when his car was struck by rocks, causing him to lose control and crash. He died in hospital shortly after the attack. Two other passengers were lightly injured.

Security forces arrested five Israeli Arabs involved in the rock-throwing, two of them minors. All are from the eastern Jerusalem neighborhood of Sur Baher.

Last September, the ringleader, identified as Mahmoud Abed Dwayatt, received an 18-year prison sentence as part of a plea bargain, and one of the minors was sentenced to nine years in jail.

On Thursday, the court gave Mohammed Abu Kaf a 15-year sentence; Walid Firas al-Atrash, 13.5 years; and a minor, three years.

Explaining his reasons for the sentencing, Judge Raphael Carmel said he sought to emphasize the risk posed by throwing rocks and that the punishment meted out should serve not only as a deterrence to the perpetrators, but also to others considering carrying out similar attacks.

Expressing relief over the conclusion of the court case, members of the family told Ynet News that while they were frustrated that the five were convicted of manslaughter and not murder, they feel satisfaction in that they kept their word to their father that they would not rest until justice was served.

“A rock is a murder weapon, and this should be remembered and anchored in Israeli law,” Ynet quoted them saying.