The 25-year-old who was involved in the unrest in Acre was given a harsh sentence, highlighting the stark disparity in treatment between Jewish and Palestinian citizens of Israel.
Adham Bashir spent his final days of freedom in a rented apartment miles from his hometown of Acre (Akka), surrounded by family and friends.
The Haifa district court handed down the 10-year prison term to the Palestinian Israeli citizen late last month for his involvement in the riots that broke out in several mixed Jewish and Arab cities in May 2021 as a result of Israeli bombing of Gaza and violations in Jerusalem.
Both Jewish and Palestinian Israelis are now receiving sentences related to that unrest. By far the longest is Bashir’s. According to the family, the conviction of the 25-year-old barber for severely beating an Israeli man out of “nationalist motives” is unfair and disproportionate.
Four days before Bashir was scheduled to start serving his prison sentence, his mother Sabreen told reporters, “I am still shocked by the verdict, I feel like I’m in hell.” “I’m not sure how I’m going to get home without Adham. “.
Tuesday morning, Bashir bid his farewells while remaining emotional and resolute before being taken to prison. Since the 11-day riots that shook Israel last year, hundreds of Palestinian citizens have been detained and found guilty. He is just one of them.
Following the incident, Israeli police launched a widespread crackdown on those who took part in the violence. Despite the fact that many of the most heinous crimes in Israel were committed by Jewish Israelis, Palestinian citizens have been unfairly singled out.
Bashir is the best person to represent this as a symbol. He was given the longest sentence to date, and many people worry that other defendants whose cases are still pending in court will receive even longer sentences.
Many believe that it is simply the most recent effort by Israeli authorities to stifle Palestinian citizens’ sense of self-identity through severe collective punishment.
Ghadir Shafie, an activist from Acre, describes the court ruling as “extremely alarming” and “leaves no doubts” about the apartheid judicial system Israel is establishing and enforcing against Palestinians. All Palestinians face an existential threat as apartheid becomes more and more accepted. ”
Around 20% of Israel’s population are Palestinian citizens, who have long been subjected to discriminatory laws and practices.
Their annoyances, which had been long ignored and marginalized, finally burst into the open in May 2021, when massive demonstrations broke out in Palestine and Israel in opposition to the bombing of Gaza, the police’s invasion of the al-Aqsa Mosque, and the threat of eviction for families living in Sheikh Jarrah, Jerusalem.
Extremist Israeli mobs attacked Palestinians in several Israeli cities during the 11 days of unrest, sparking violence between communities and a police crackdown on Palestinians.
Israeli rioters killed Moussa Hassouna in Lydd (Lod) on the first night of the demonstrations. In Acre, a city that had seen some of the worst violence, a group of Palestinians attacked an Israeli man in his car two nights later at an intersection. Mor Janashvili, 30, was seriously hurt and admitted to the hospital.
A total of eight people were detained after the incident. Bashir was one of them.