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Belgian motorist who drove toward Jews convicted of intimidation

(JTA) — A Belgian court convicted a man who intentionally drove his car into a group of Jews of intimidation but cleared him of attempted murder.

According to the Belga news agency, a court on Friday sentenced the 42-year-old man from Beveren to 12 months in jail and a $780 fine for driving his car while under the influence of alcohol into a group of Jews in Antwerp during the Passover holiday last year. Five young Orthodox Jews jumped out of the way and were not hit.

The man, who has not been publicly identified, was charged with attempted murder but the judge determined he only wanted to “intimidate” the group.

Just before the incident, he made an obscene gesture at an Orthodox Jew he passed on the street and cursed a number of other Jews, Belga reported.

The man’s lawyer said in court that he had “a serious drinking problem.”

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