8 minors indicted for murder of Jewish man in Ramle

Defendants allegedly shouted racist curses, said they supported Gaza rocket fire, before shooting 51-year-old man dead.

arrest  311 R (photo credit: REUTERS/Eric Gaillard )
arrest 311 R
(photo credit: REUTERS/Eric Gaillard )
The Central District Attorney filed two indictments in the Central District Juvenile Court in Petah Tikva on Thursday, charging eight minors in connection with the murder of 51- year-old George Sa’ado in Ramle.
Sa’ado was shot dead as he walked his dog on the outskirts of Ramle last month.
As the defendants are minors, Thursday’s indictment hearing took place in closed court. All details of the minors’ identities are subject to a gag order.
According to the indictment, Sa’ado came upon three of the defendants as he walked his dog on the outskirts of Ramle on the evening of March 11. As he walked past the group, two of the defendants allegedly swore at Sa’ado, who ignored them and continued with his walk.
After the disturbance, the indictment said, six of the defendants got together and decided to lie in wait for Sa’ado, armed with a handgun, in order to confront him.
As the defendants had expected, Sa’ado passed through the area in which he had earlier encountered the youths on his way back home, the indictment said.
Four of the defendants allegedly swore and shouted racist slurs at Sa’ado, as well as statements supporting the firing of rockets into Israel from Gaza. Two of the defendants also kicked Sa’ado’s dog and threw stones at the animal, the indictment said.
As the attack progressed, one of the defendants said he wanted to shoot Sa’ado, the indictment charges.
According to the indictment, two of the other defendants told him not to do so, but another of the minors said that the first defendant should not listen to them.
If the first defendant was too scared to shoot Sa’ado, that minor said, he should hand over the gun and he would fire the shot himself.
Members of the gang then asked Sa’ado if he had a gun himself, the indictment said, and Sa’ado replied that he was unarmed, even lifting his shirt to prove to the defendants that he was not carrying any weapon.
At that point, Sa’ado decided to end the incident, and moved to leave the place and go home.
In doing so, he turned away from the defendants for a moment, the indictment said.
In that instant, because of the calls made by one of the defendants to escalate the incident from curses to actions, because of the presence of the rest of the gang, and because of his own desire to murder Sa’ado, one of the defendants pulled out his gun and fired a single shot at Sa’ado, who collapsed, the indictment charges.
To verify Sa’ado was dead, and to kill his dog, the defendant fired two more shots, the indictment said.
One of the shots killed the dog, and the other missed.
The defendants then fled the scene, the indictment alleges.
The first indictment charges one of the defendants with murder and three with manslaughter. All four are charged with illegal possession of a firearm and ammunition, of carrying a firearm and ammunition illegally and with harming an animal. One of the four defendants is also charged with obstructing the investigation and one defendant is charged with perverting the course of justice.
The second indictment charges two of the remaining four defendants with manslaughter, illegal possession of firearms and ammunition, carrying firearms and ammunition, and harming an animal. The remaining two defendants are charged with carrying a firearm and perverting the course of justice.
Following the shooting last month, police said they were investigating the possibility that it was a nationalisticallymotivated incident. The Shin Bet has also been involved in the investigation.

Yaakov Lappin contributed to this report.