Protester gets two years in jail for trying to torch cars

The Tel Aviv District Court sentenced a 21-year-old resident of Eilon Moreh to two years in jail for planning to start a fire on the Ayalon Highway at rush hour by torching two cars in protest of the disengagement. "These were harsh and grave acts which reflect a violent and anti-democratic attitude that sought to undermine proper government procedures and use force to disrupt them," wrote Judge Zecharya Caspi in his ruling. The case involved Avraham Levkowitz, a student at the yeshiva in the West Bank settlement of Homesh, which was northwest of Nablus. At the beginning of May, 2005, Levkowitz and two others, brothers Mordechai and Elitzur Lowenstein, stuffed two vehicles with mattresses and cardboard. They parked the cars near the Kibbutz Galuyot ramp of the Ayalon, planning to drive them into the middle of the highway and set them ablaze. The plan failed after they were unable to start the cars in the morning and they were subsequently arrested by police. Levkowitz admitted to the charges of conspiracy to commit a felony and deliberately conspiring to endanger life in a public thoroughfare. In his ruling, Caspi wrote that "the seeds of lawlessness have not been altogether uprooted. The fears that they will sprout have not disappeared. Society today requires protection from possible future acts motivated by the power of an idea which ignores the fundamental principles of democracy and the need to uphold the law." Levkowitz's lawyer, Yossi Zilberberg, said he would appeal the ruling to the Supreme Court. "The [district] court did not take properly into consideration the fact that we must heal the wounds of society after the disengagement, not to mention that we are talking about a person without a criminal record, a man who is the salt of the earth and was due to be accepted into medical school this year."
More about:Nablus, Elon Moreh