The Jerusalem District Court on Monday sentenced a cell of four Arab terrorists from the eastern Jerusalem neighborhood of Issawiya to between two and five-and-a-half years in jail, for setting a synagogue on fire and conducting numerous firebomb attacks.
The cell set a synagogue on fire in Jerusalem's northeastern French Hill neighborhood back in 2013, and launched firebomb attacks at Israeli cars – including a police patrol car – on eight separate occasions.
The sentences comes at a key time, as Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has been pushing for firebomb throwers to get a minimum sentence of 10 years.
Given the short sentences for the serious crimes, the district attorney is considering petitioning for a stiffer sentence against the four members of the cell.
Those members include Mohammed Abid, sentenced to five-and-a-half years, Ibrahim bin Rabas, given 40 months, Mohammed Aliyan, sentenced to 52 months, and Alid Aliyan who was given three years.
All four terrorists are residents of Issawiya aged in their twenties.
The sentencing comes amid a recent upsurge in Arab terrorist violence in Jerusalem since last week, during the Rosh Hashanah holiday. That violence has included several firebombings on IDF bases, Arab rioting on the Temple Mount, and a lethal rock attack.
In response to the attacks there has been a debate in the government about making the minimum punishment against Arab terrorists throwing rocks and firebombs harsher, although Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein has been delaying that process.
Weinstein is to announce his opinion on minimum sentences for firebomb throwers on Thursday.