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Young Palestinian charged with attack in October sentenced to 25 years in prison

June 1, 2016 9:08 P.M. (Updated: June 2, 2016 10:58 A.M.)
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- An Israeli court Wednesday sentenced Alaa Zayud, a young Palestinian charged with an attack carried out in October, to 25 years in prison, according to an Israeli news outlet.

Zayud, 22, from Umm al-Fahm in the Israeli district of Haifa, allegedly confessed his involvement in an attack that left two Israeli soldiers wounded after Zayud reportedly rammed his car into them, before proceeding to stab two more Israelis near the city of Hadera.

However, during his hearing, Zayud denied involvement in the attack and claimed he had lost control of his car, stating “I did nothing. They want to turn me into a terrorist. I don’t know what they want from me. I am not a terrorist,” according to Israeli media outlet Ynet.

Zayud was subsequently charged with four counts of attempted murder and a possession of a knife with the intent of carrying out a “racist” act, according to Israeli newspaper Haaretz.

Zayud was handed his sentence, with the judge ordering him to pay compensation of 40,000 to 150,000 shekels ($10,380 to $38,928) to the victims, and added that the decision was made in order to deter any Palestinians planning to carry out attacks.

Zayud, a Palestinian citizen of Israel, is also facing the unusual punitive measure of having his Israeli citizenship revoked, a move Sawsan Zaher, an attorney for the human rights group Adalah, recently called a “racist” and “arbitrary” act.

In a statement released on Facebook at the start of this week, Israeli Interior Minister Aryeh Dery announced the submission of the motion to the district court, claiming that he had begun the process of revoking Zayud’s Israeli citizenship immediately following the attack, adding that he planned to also reject Zayud's father's -- who is married to an Israeli citizen, but is not a citizen himself -- residency permit renewal.
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