Two Years After Deadly Attack, Court Sentences Jewish Militants

The Jerusalem District Court has sentenced four young supporters of Kahane Chai, an outlawed Jewish extremist groups, to prison terms for carrying out a deadly grenade attack in Jerusalem’s Old City.

One person was killed and seven were wounded when the grenade was thrown on Nov. 16, 1992, into a crowd of Arab shoppers in the Old City.

According to the charge sheet, the four defendants had planned the attack to avenge the death of Rabbi Meir Kahane, founder of the Kach movement, who was assassinated in New York City in 1990.

After the sentences were handed down, the defendants left the courtroom smiling and handcuffed, as family members, friends and supporters cheered. Their names were not made public because they were minors at the time of the attack.

The father of the youngest defendant said his then 15-year-old son and his friends were mistreated during interrogation, and that confessions were extracted by force.

His son, who called news organizations at the time to claim responsibility for the attack, received a 10-year sentence as an accomplice to the killing.

The youth who confessed to throwing the grenade was given a 15-year prison term. He was also the only one of the four defendants who said he did not regret his actions.

A third defendant was sentenced to 10 years in prison for acting as an accomplice. The fourth, who was the leader of the group but backed down at the last minute and stayed home the day of the attack, was sentenced to five years.

Judge Ya’acov Bazak said that in determining the sentences, he had taken into account the defendants’ ages. At the same time, he said, the court has to stress the gravity of the attack so “we do not turn into a second Lebanon in which this one kills that one and that one kills this one until they bring their country to ruin.

Defense lawyer Jonathan Goldberg said the four defendants were expected to appeal.

Kahane Chai and its sister group Kach were outlawed last year after a Kach activist, Dr. Baruch Goldstein, killed 29 Muslim worshipers at Hebron’s Tomb of the Patriarchs.

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