Woman sentenced to prison
Photo: AP
Blind woman sent to jail for harboring Palestinian
Handicapped, diabetic single mother convicted of aiding illegal resident receives six months community service, but after finding her unfit, judge sentences her to prison

A single mother of a 4-year old child was handed a prison sentence on Wednesday after the Magistrates' Court in Rehovot found her to be unfit for community service.


The woman, who is blind and diabetic, was sentenced to community service when she was found guilty of harboring a Palestinian man without a residency permit.


When the Palestinian was caught in her home a few months ago the woman claimed he was the father of her child, but on the witness stand she admitted to two counts of harboring of an illegal alien.


"He's the only person who helps me and I have no one else," she told the judge. "I didn't know he was an illegal resident, he has been in Israel for many years."


The woman was sentenced to six months of community service and three years probation, but was later found by the community service supervisor to be unfit to carry out her sentence, due to her physical condition.


The woman's attorney and legal guardian, Gil Gabay, appealed to the court on her behalf. "She takes care of a 4-year old girl and she doesn't have any help… if a second opinion still finds her unfit for community service then the court should examine other means of punishment," he said.


But Judge Yaron Levy determined that "because the woman has been found unfit for community service following the two interviews granted to her, and after hearing both sides, I believe there is no escaping a prison term."


The court has postponed the sentence in order to allow the woman to appeal to the District Court.


First published: 10.22.08, 20:25
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