Tel Aviv District Court on Monday sentenced an Israeli Arab to 16 years in jail on charges of planning to help the Hamas kidnap an Israeli soldier and being an accessory to the murder of an Israeli civilian in a non-security related crime.
"These kinds of crimes require severe, substantial and painful punishment," the judges, Shelly Timan, Tehiya Shapira and Sarah Brosh wrote in their sentence.
The defendant, 24-year-old Lenin Alturi, from the village of Kfar Kassem, was convicted of the crimes on December 4, 2005, in the context of a plea bargain agreement.
He linked himself to the Hamas two years ago during a telephone conversation with his uncle, Assad Taha, from the Nuseirat refugee camp. Taha, who belonged to the Hamas, told him about what was happening in the Gaza Strip and Alturi, in response, said he "would do everything" on behalf of the terrorist organization.
Taha asked Alturi to kidnap soldiers and hand them over to the Hamas in Hebron or Ramallah. He said he would need money for the mission and received NIS 2,000 from an unidentified person to buy a gun. Soon afterwards, in April 2004, he asked friends of his in Kfar Kassem to help kidnap soldiers, but they refused.
The court sentenced him to 12 years in jail and three years suspended for making contact with a foreign agent and eight years, four of them consecutive, for his role in the murder of the Israeli, Rafi Cohen, in December 2003.
Alturi's lawyer, Ehud Ben-Yehuda, said he would appeal against the allegedly harsh decision to the Supreme Court. He charged that Alturi had been taken advantage of by Hamas because he was young and had no money.