JERUSALEM (Jun. 16)
A verdict in the trial of 20 alleged members of a Jewish terrorist underground charged with crimes of violence against Arab civilians on the West Bank is expected to be handed down in several weeks.
Both the prosecution and defense summed up their cases last week. Dorit Beinish, a Deputy State Attorney/declared that the defendants must be treated as regular criminals and their political motivations should not be considered a factor.
Defense Counsel Avraham Gan-Tzvi stressed that the accused acted out of self defense because the security situation in the West Bank had deteriorated to a point where they felt they had to defend themselves.
The three judge panel hearing the case ruled earlier in the trial that the security situation in the territories was irrelevant. Gan-Tzvi acknowledged the ruling but insisted that it is relevant to a mother who sends her children to school or a man who sends his wife to the market.
CHARGE GOVERNMENT FAILS TO PROTECT SETTLERS
The defense case contends that the government failed to protect Jewish settlers in the West Bank from Arab terrorist acts. “Can the government, unable to protect him, tell a man that when he rises to protect himself he will face trial?” the defense attorney asked.
The prosecutor noted in her summation that the Jewish terrorist organization has existed since 1979 and is by nature violent and its intention was to do harm to Arab residents of the territory. The defendants are charged among other things with killing Palestinian university students, maiming two Arab mayors in car-bombings five years ago and conspiring to blow up Islamic shrines on the Temple Mount in East Jerusalem.
According to Beinish, that plot was foiled only because security was tightened following similar attempts in recent years by Jewish groups or individuals.