‘Pathetic justice system’ – Father of soldier killed by Arab driver slams 15-month prison sentence, plea deal

Arab driver who abandoned bus in neutral position on downhill slope facing IDF soldiers’ tents, without activating the vehicle’s braking systems, will likely spend less than a year in prison.

By World Israel News Staff

An Arab bus driver who killed an 18-year-old IDF soldier in a bizarre accident was sentenced to 15 months in prison on Sunday morning by a court in southern Israel, a ruling which incensed the family of the slain man.

“I think, in the State of Israel, we have lost… value for human life,” Moti Oved, the slain soldier’s father, said in an interview with radio station Kan Reshet Bet after the verdict was released.

“I struggle to understand why the judge dragged out this case for nearly four years, only to come to such a pathetic plea bargain. It’s really impossible to describe how pathetic the justice system is.”

In April 2019, Ibrahim Abu Kaf, who was hired to transport Israeli soldiers to and from a field training exercise, abandoned the bus while it was parked in neutral on a downward slope.

An investigation found that Abu Kaf left the bus in a precarious position, without activating any of the bus’s braking systems, including the emergency brake – a total violation of safety standards for bus drivers stepping away from their vehicles.

Read  WATCH: Dozens of terrorists killed in Gaza raid

The bus rolled down a hill and accelerated, driving over the tents of paratroopers who had been resting nearby. 18-year-old Ron Oved was killed in the incident and another IDF soldier was seriously wounded.

The Ashdod Regional Court ruled on Sunday to accept a plea bargain between the prosecution and Abu Kaf, in which he confessed to “unusual negligence” for abandoning the bus in a dangerous position.

The court found that Abu Kaf’s actions were not premeditated and that he had no criminal intent, but that as a professional bus driver who understood the “unreasonable risk” of such a move, he was criminally negligent in his actions.

Abu Kaf’s driver’s license was also suspended for 10 years. He was ordered to pay 6,000 shekels ($1,750) in compensation to Oved’s family.

Because of Israel’s lenient prison credit system, Abu Kaf will likely serve just 10 months – two thirds of his sentence – in prison.

Unless they engage in severe misconduct while incarcerated, such as seriously wounding another inmate, the majority of Israeli prisoners enjoy an automatic reduction of their sentence by a third.