Nahariya man gets 18 years for manslaughter

Defendant asked ‘what have Arabs got to do here?’ before stabbing victim in 'racially motivated' attack.

justice court gavel ruling law 370 (photo credit: Thinkstock)
justice court gavel ruling law 370
(photo credit: Thinkstock)
A Nahariya resident found guilty of stabbing and beating a young man to death because he was an Arab was sentenced to a total of 18 years in prison in the Haifa District Court on Tuesday.
The defendant, 29-yearold Pinhas Aburmad, was found guilty of manslaughter, making threats and violation of a lawful direction, since in leaving his house to stab the victim to death he had violated a court-imposed curfew for a previous offense.
According to the indictment, Aburmad killed his victim, 26-year-old Jamal Kiwan, in December 2010 after Kiwan parked his car outside Aburmad’s house.
“What have Arabs got to do here?” Aburmad asked Kiwan and another Arab man, as he ordered them to get out of the area. The argument intensified, and Aburmad threatened to burn the two Arab Israelis if they did not leave.
To emphasize the threat, Aburmad even told the men he was under house arrest and pointed to the electronic tags on his leg, the indictment said.
When Aburmad realized Kiwan and his friend were not prepared to leave, he told them to “wait for me here, if you’re real men,” the indictment continued.
Aburmad then went into his house and quickly returned to the street wielding a knife and an iron bar. He tripped Kiwan, causing him to fall to the ground, then stood over him and stabbed him several times, severing the young man’s right lung and arteries and causing his death.
Prosecuting attorney Mira Rave asked the court to impose a harsh prison sentence on Aburmad, arguing that such senseless killings occur all too frequently, and that knives are “pulled without hesitation for trifling reasons.”
The victim was killed in the prime of his life before he could marry and raise a family, Rave argued.
Aburmad’s counsel, Yuval Zemer, said that the offense’s severity was not under dispute, but that the defendant had not been convicted of murder – which requires that the prosecution prove beyond reasonable doubt that a killing was premeditated. Zemer asked for a lighter sentence to allow Aburmad’s rehabilitation.
Judge Zilla Keynan noted during the sentencing arguments hearing that Aburmad had expressed remorse for his actions and denied that a racial motive prompted his attack.
“I want to ask forgiveness from the man who lost his life, who was stolen from the world, because I’m not a racist,” Aburmad told the court. “It’s hard for me [to hear] all these accusations against me, calling me a racist.”
“A man has died and I’m sorry,” he added.
In passing the sentence, Keynan said the events of the manslaughter had been severe.
Kiwan did not have a weapon, yet Aburmad had attacked him first with a metal bar and then with a knife, after threatening him, the judge said.
In carrying out the attack, Aburmad had also violated a court order regarding his bail conditions for another offense, under which he had to remain inside his home from 10 p.m. through 6 a.m, Keynan continued.
The judge also noted that Aburmad had a criminal record including convictions for drugs, knife possession and violent crime.
In addition to the prison sentence, the court also ordered Aburmad to pay Kiwan’s family NIS 80,000 in compensation and imposed two suspended sentences of 10 and 20 months each.