The Tel Aviv District Court on Sunday sentenced Elad Gadbaan to 27 months in
prison as part of a plea bargain agreement in which he was convicted of racially
motivated attempted arson against African migrants.
On May 6, 2012,
Gadbaan took his brother’s motorcycle without permission as part of a plan to
travel to an area where he could set on fire a building where African migrants
lived. Gadbaan had been blacklisted from receiving a license to drive a
motorcycle in March 2012.
He traveled to 46 Hanoch Street in Tel Aviv and
tried to throw two Molotov cocktails at the building.
malfunctioned and no one was injured.
The court speculated, however, that
in such crimes of arson, there could have been significant and unpredictable
danger to life and property, and that mere luck that the attack fizzled did not
reduce the severity of Gadbaan’s actions.
Gadbaan argued for a reduced
sentence on the grounds that he was provoked by statements by then-interior
minister and current Shas MK Eli Yishai and Likud MK Miri Regev calling the
Africa migrants a “cancer” and holding them accountable for an increase in rapes
and other crimes.
Gadbaan also said that at the time of the incident he
was intoxicated and that he was provoked by a raucous anti-migrant
While noting that some public servants’ statements were
problematic and could impact and motivate negative behavior such as Gadbaan’s,
the court said that ultimately only Gadbaan was responsible for his
The court did not render any ruling regarding the second
defendant in the case, a minor, who is scheduled to come before the court on a