Israeli Arabs cleared of murder in killing of Jewish terrorist

JERUSALEM (JTA) — Seven Israeli Arabs were acquitted of murder charges in the 2005 killing of a Jewish terrorist, but some were convicted on lesser charges.

On Monday, four residents of the Arab-Israeli community of Shfaram were found guilty in Haifa District Court of attempted manslaughter in the death of Israeli soldier Eden Natan-Zada, who had opened fire in a public bus in Shfaram in northern Israel. Four Israeli Arabs, including the bus driver, were killed in the shooting and 22 were injured.

Natan-Zada was disarmed by bus passengers and then beaten to death by some of them.

It is believed that Natan-Zada was protesting the Gaza disengagement that was taking place at the time.

Two other defendants were convicted of aggravated assault, and one was acquitted. Five others reached a plea bargain with the court, admitting to interfering with and attacking police officers in exchange for a sentence of community service, according to Haaretz.

Hundreds of Shfaram residents and their supporters protested in Haifa prior to the trial. The city of Shfaram closed down due to a general strike over the trial.

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