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Four Arab Youths Sentenced in Israel for Attempting to Cross Border

Four Arab youths were sentenced today to prison terms of 15 to 21 months for leaving a restricted area without permission and trying to cross into the Egyptian-held Gaza Strip.

The youths, residents of Taiyiba, one of the richest Arab villages in central Israel, were detained at a crossroad only a few hundred yards from the border and were unable to explain what they were doing in that area.

A military court in Kfar Saba, a special tribunal for offenses against military administration, rejected their claim they could not find work in Israel and that they were looking for a “better life” in Gaza. The court noted that Taiyiba was blessed with the most fertile land in central Israel and that many of its sellers were graduates of Israeli high schools and universities.