November 17, 2010

Settler convicted of kidnapping, beating Palestinian teen


JERUSALEM (Ma'an) -- A Jerusalem District Court convicted a settler of three counts of assault, battery under aggravated circumstances, kidnapping for the purpose of causing grave bodily injury, and one count of animal abuse in a decision issued on Sunday.

Israeli human rights group Yesh Din represented the victim, a 15-year-old boy from the southern West Bank town of Khursa, who was left by his attackers in a field, bound, naked, and unconscious.

The boy after attack. (Photo courtesy of Yesh Din)

The incident, which tool place on 24 July 2007, was, according to statements by the group, "one of the most severe cases ever handled by Yesh Din."

Lawyers said the boy was kidnapped by two assailants near the Esh Kodesh outpost. The two offenders battered him, and left him naked, wounded, and bound in an open field.

Following a police investigation, one of the suspects was apprehended and indicted. The defendant, Zvi Struk, resident of the settlement of Shilo, was charged with battery under aggravated circumstances and kidnapping for the purpose of causing grave bodily injury – felonies that bear a maximum penalty of 20 years’ imprisonment. His trial opened in the Jerusalem District Court on February 2009.

According to the indictment, the offenders battered their victim using the barrel of a rifle, dragged him on the ground, bound his eyes and hands, and took him to an unknown location.

There, he was beaten again, stripped of his clothes, and left in an open field and tied while unconscious. After regaining consciousness, he managed to free himself, and ran to the nearest road where he was picked up by a passing motorist.

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