The Jerusalem Magistrates' Court on Thursday sentenced an Israeli security officer to six months in prison for allowing Palestinian workers into a Jerusalem-vicinity community without a permit in exchange for money.
The jail sentence will be converted to community service.
One of the local contractors who bribed the defendant recently received a suspended sentence from a military court in the framework of a plea bargain, prompting the Jerusalem court to dispense a relatively light sentence as well.
According to the indictment, the 32-year-old security guard, who was in charge of employment procedures in the community, received illicit benefits, including cash, in exchange for permitting Palestinian workers to enter without proper documentation.
In addition, on at least four different occasions in 2004 the security officer received payments ranging between NIS 200-250 ($54-67) from a Jewish contractor in exchange for illegally allowing Palestinian workers into the community.
Defense attorney Ariel Atari urged the court to dispense a light sentence, citing the fact that the employer who bribed his client was handed a suspended sentence and fined despite being charged with more offenses.
Atari asked that the court also take into account that the guard had since been fired and that the publication of the affair caused mental damage to him and his family. The attorney said his client has expressed remorse and accepted responsibility for his actions.
The prosecution, for its part, said the defendant accepted the bribes despite being the "final barrier" between the community's residents and potentially hostile elements, and asked that he be sent to jail as a deterring measure.