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Israel sentences Palestinian woman, Israeli man to prison over separate stabbing attacks

Feb. 27, 2017 7:32 P.M. (Updated: Feb. 28, 2017 10:21 A.M.)
BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) -- Israeli courts on Monday sentenced a Palestinian woman and an Israeli man to prison for their involvement in two separate stabbing attacks in 2016 and 2015, according to Israeli media.

The court sentenced Shatila Abu Aida, 23, to 16 years in prison and charged a fine of 100,000 shekels ($27,289) for attempted murder in an April 2016 stabbing attack in which Abu Aida -- a Palestinian citizen of Israel and resident of the town of Kafr Qasim -- attempted to stab an Israeli woman in the city of Rosh Haayin east of Tel Aviv, lightly injuring the Israeli woman in the arm.

Meanwhile, an Israeli man, Shlomo Pinto, 33, was charged with attempted murder and sentenced to 11 years in prison for stabbing another Israeli man who he thought was a Palestinian.

The attack -- which Pinto carried out in October 2015 at a grocery story in the Israeli town of Kiryat Ata, near Haifa -- reportedly left the Israeli victim “moderately injured” with multiple stab wounds.

The Times of Israel reported that Pinto entered the supermarket with the intent of committing a “revenge attack” against a Palestinian for what was then a new wave of small-scale stabbing attacks committed by Palestinians mostly against uniformed Israeli soldiers.

According to the news website, Pinto approached a Palestinian man in the store, “asking him if he was Arab.” The man responded negatively, apparently frightened by the question.

“Pinto, satisfied with the answer, moved on. Minutes later, he identified Uri Razkan and, concluding from his appearance that he was Arab, proceeded to stab him in the upper torso,” the Times of Israel said.

A video of the attack shows Pinto approaching Razkan from the back and stabbing him multiple times in the waist, back, and upper torso before Razkan managed to run away.

The website added that Pinto was charged with a fine of 50,000 shekels ($13,600), and that his sentence would include time served since his arrest.

By contrast, Israeli soldier Elor Azarya was sentenced to a year and a half in prison earlier this month for shooting and killing a wounded Palestinian in Hebron in March 2016, prompting Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) Executive Committee member Hanan Ashrawi denounce the lenient sentence as proof of Israel's "active devaluation of human life, especially the lives of Palestinians."
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