The Tel Aviv District Court rejected unanimously on Monday an appeal by two youths, including a former IDF soldier, convicted of failing to prevent the brutal attack that killed Arik Karp three years ago.

Karp was brutally beaten and kicked to death in August 2009 on the Tel Baruch Beach in northern Tel Aviv, by a gang of intoxicated youths from Jaljulya.

Or Levy, a former IDF soldier, and Fadi Jaber were convicted alongside two others last March of failing to prevent the killing, by standing by and not calling for help or for police as Karp was beaten repeatedly.

Both Levy and Jaber appealed against community service sentences handed down by the Tel Aviv Magistrate’s Court last July.

Levy received three months of community service and a seven-month suspended sentence, while Jaber was sentenced to six months of community service and a suspended sentence of nine months.

In rejecting the appeal, judges Dvora Berliner, George Kara and Miriam Sokolov said the magistrate’s court had been “merciful” in not sentencing Levy and Jaber to prison time.

“The entire incident is one of the most difficult that Israeli society has ever encountered,” the judges said.

According to the indictment, the group from Jaljulya, along with Or Levy, met up at Tel Baruch beach on the night of the killing, where they drank alcohol. Karp, together with his wife, Sara, and his daughter, Anataliya, arrived at the beach at about the same time and sat down on a bench.

Shortly afterwards, three of the Jaljuliya men beat Karp to death, while the rest of the group, including Levy, looked on.

Last July, the three Jaljulya youths – including a minor – convicted of Karp’s manslaughter were sentenced to 26 years in prison and ordered to pay Karp’s family NIS 100,000 in compensation.

A week later, the Tel Aviv Magistrate’s Court ruled that Levy, Jaber and two others – Fuad Mussa and Mahmoud Ades – would not be sentenced to prison terms but would receive community service sentences.

In appealing the sentence, Levy’s defense counsel, attorney Nir Alfasa, argued that the magistrate’s court had failed to take into account that Levy had not taken part in the violence against Karp. Alfasa contended that the amended indictment alleged that Levy had shouted out to Karp’s killers to stop the attack.

It was precisely Levy, Alfasa argued, who was at a physical disadvantage in relation to the male attackers, who “responded in the face of the violence.”

Jaber’s defense lawyer, attorney Moshe Yochai, argued among other things that Jaber had planned to study at the Technion in Haifa but that opportunity was ruined as a result of the incident, which had harmed him and his image. Although Jaber was not the victim, Yochai said, he had not wanted the incident to happen and had expressed remorse.

In rejecting the appeal, however, the judges said that Jaber and Levy had stood by while the Karp family had been attacked by a “bunch of drunken thugs.”

“[Jaber and Levy] stood by, watching the proceedings before them and took the minimal possible actions to prevent the attack from continuing, and in retrospect, to prevent the death of [Karp],” the judges said.

Levy and Jaber’s conduct indicated their “moral attitudes – or perhaps, their amoral attitudes – to the terrible incident that happened,” the judges added.

After the brutal attack, the judges noted, the appellants, together with the rest of the gang, got into their cars and left, to continue drinking and enjoying themselves.

“Their behavior reflects a complete lack of sensitivity, it erased all traces of humanity or human dignity,” the judges said, adding that all the defendants had acted as a group, and that Levy and Jaber had been part of a group activity.

In the final analysis, the judges said, “the disgust that every human being should express towards the appellants’ behavior should be expressed in punishing them.”

“We say openly, that if the lower court had imposed prison terms [on the appellants], we doubt we would have intervened,” the judges concluded.

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