Nasser Shaar, 37, a resident of Majdal Shams, is the first person to be sentenced to jail over his involvement in the "Naksa Day" riots. Shaar was sentenced to eight months in prison after admitting within the framework of a plea bargain, to counts of aggravated assault on a public servant and rioting.
Shaar threw rocks at defense forces that were busy pushing back Syrians infiltrators attempting to break through the border fence. He was also sentenced to probation and a NIS 2,500 ($740) fine.
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Deputy Chief Justice of the Nazareth Magistrate's Court Lily Young Gefer wrote in the verdict that the events would have ended rather differently in Syria.
"It is very easy to imagine what the punishment would have been imposed on those Syrian civilians who congregated near the border fence if they would have acted towards the Syrian forces in the manner in which the defendant and his friends acted," she said.
"Naksa Day" riots (Photo: George Ginsburg)
"Israel does not use Syria's penal response as an example and its judges are always meticulous in submitting a balanced humane and well considered sentence that takes the special circumstances of each case and defendant into account.
"Yet this in no way means, as the defendant and his friends might have thought mistakenly, that Israel is willing to endure this type of behavior without an appropriate response."
Explaining her decision to sentence Shaar to prison Gefer said: "The lack of a prison sentence might accidently send a message whereby this isn't a crime and these aren't really severe actions, rather an act of no importance that can be forgiven.
"Plotting violence against the defense forces from within the State's boundaries is an intolerable phenomenon which goes much farther than attacking members of the defense force because there is also the element of inflicting damage on the State's security."
She also determined that "a forgiving approach to phenomenon of the type exhibited in this case and which the defendant took an active part in is not acceptable if we seek life.
Each and every resident and citizen in Israel needs to know, as any resident of any normative country in the world knows – that acts of violence against the state's security forces … will not be accepted with any level of understanding and will be answered with real and severe punishment while showing preference for the public interest even when those involved lack any criminal record."
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