The three men convicted of the brutal murder of Arik Karp in 2009 were sentenced to 26 years in prison each, Tuesday.
Karp was assaulted in August 2009 on the Tel Baruch boardwalk in Tel Aviv. He was brutally beaten to death by three Jaljulia residents, who were later convicted of manslaughter and aggravated assault.
Each of the defendants was also ordered to pay the victim's family NIS 100,000 (approx. $30,000) in damages.
The Tel Aviv Prosecution asked the Tel Aviv District Court "to issue a harsh punishment that would resonate and carry a deterrent message not only for the defendants, but also as far as future, potential violent offenders are concerned."
"The sense of horror is intensified by this unbelievable cruelty. None of the defendants had any reason to wish the victim harm. The heart riles against their indifference to the victim's pleas. Their lack of compassion is incomprehensible… their thirst for violence was uncontrollable," the ruling said.
Defendants' families fight at court. (Photo: Dudu Azulay)
"Since they were in cahoots in this offense, each defendant's part in the act is irrelevant. Each of them had the opportunity to stop the violence, but none of them lifted a finger to halt the horror."
A riot broke out in the courtroom after the sentence was read, as the defendants' family members began assaulting each other. Court security officers, who tried to break the skirmish up, were also assaulted.
The Prosecution welcomed the verdict: "We appreciate the court's ruling. It's will send a clear message to all those who even consider violence. The sentence befits the defendants' ecstasy of violence."
Karp's daughter at court. (Photo: Dudu Azulay)
The defense claimed that the verdict was precedential, hinting that "maybe if the defendants were not Arabs from Jaljulia the verdict would have been different." The defense is likely to appeal the verdict.
According to the indictment filed against Jamil Adas (25), Abd el-Rahman (21) and a 17-year-old youth whose identity has yet to be revealed, the three arrived at the beach where they proceeded to get drunk.
They later on spotted Karp, his wife and their daughter sitting on a bench at the beach's promenade. They harassed the family and when the Karps tried to leave, they attacked Arik. His wife and his daughter fled for safety.
Karp's body washed up on the beach the next morning.
Four of the defendants' friends, including IDF soldier Or Levi, who witnessed the assault and did nothing to stop it, were convicted of failure to prevent and report a crime. Their sentencing is expected next week.
The Karp family was displeased with the verdict, saying they will seek legal measure to have the defendants convicted of murder and sentenced to life. The family intends to file a Supreme Court appeal.
However, the Jaljulia youngsters' relatives have a different take on the story. They claim that if the men were Jewish, their sentence would have been a lighter one."It's revenge. I'm sure if they were Jewish accused of the same felonies they wouldn't have gotten a 26 year sentence," one relative told Ynet, adding that Israeli courts are stricter when it comes to cases in which Arabs harm Jews.
"We suffer from racial issues and discrimination, especially when it comes to Arabs who are involved in violence against Jews," he said. "When Arabs and Jews are involved in a quarrel, they always blame it on the Arabs. So we're not surprised by the verdict."
The relative said he does not believe the Supreme Court will grant an appeal filed by the three. "I don't know if there's any point in appealing because the outcome will most likely be negative," he concluded.