Two Beersheba men were sentenced to 32 months in prison for attempting to push a bakery into a protection racket, the Southern District Attorney's Office said on Tuesday.
Bilal and Derar El-Sana were alleged to have threatened a Beersheba bakery to pay them in exchange for their protection. The threats continued for two months, but the bakery owner called friends to make a show of force to ward off the racketeers.
"Just because you brought people here doesn't mean you'll get out of this alive, I'll close your business," the racketeers allegedly threatened.
Bilal was sentenced to 32 months prison, 12 months suspended sentence, fined NIS 3,000 and ordered to pay NIS 10,000 to the bakery owner. Derar received 32 months prison, 8 months suspended sentence, a NIS 6,000 fine, and NIS 10,000 in compensation to the victim.
The racketeers had pleaded guilty, but the court rejected their defense that the punishment should be lighter because the bakery owner didn't submit to their attempts at extortion.
Another man was sentenced to six months for aiding in the destruction of the bakery owner's vehicle and the racketeer's threats.