Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Israeli-American Teenager, Shimson Cytryn, Charged With Attempted Murder In Melee

ISRAELI-AMERICAN TEENAGER, SHIMSHON CYTRYN, CHARGED WITH ATTEMPTED MURDER IN MELEE

copyright (c) 2006 by Mrs. Elli Rodan
mailto:editor@israeljustice.com
www.israeljustice.com

Excerpt:

"Supporters said the indictment of Cytryn was part of a vendetta against his father. In 1995, Cytryn's father, Shmuel, was arrested and held without trial for eight months. The elder Cytryn, an activist of the banned Kach movement, was detained after he released hospital records that challenged the official version of the assassination of Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin....'Shimshon is high on the list of the Shabak [Israel Security Agency]', Shmuel Cytryn said. 'The Cytryn family is targeted because of its activities on the extreme right. We represent something that to them is the enemy'...Mujaida [whom The State of Israel alleges that Shimshon Cytryn attempted to murder] never filed a complaint against or identified Cytryn as his attacker. Despite a police search, the prosecution failed to retrieve the stone that allegedly struck Mujaida in the head nor did the prosecution supply medical evidence detailing Mujaida's injuries or hospitalization. After the melee, Israel's state-owned media accused Cytryn of seeking to 'lynch' Mujaida. But Mujaida told Israel Radio in early July that the injury on his forehead was caused by being struck by the rifle butt of an Israeli soldier. 'One soldier took me to a separate place -- not any settler -- and hit me with the rifle butt in my stomach and in my head', Mujaida said. 'He put me against the wall and let children hit me'...Despite the lack of prosecution witnesses, the three-judge panel appears ready to convict Cytryn. At one point, the judges sought to adjourn the trial until February, 2007, while Cytryn remains in jail. 'How long has he served?' presiding Judge Ruth Avidah asked Judge Chana Slutky. 'Three months', Slutky replied. 'This time will be deducted [from the sentence]', Avidah said'".

YERUSHALIYIM, Israelite Tribal Territories of Judah and Benjamin, Kingdom of David and Solomon, United Israelite Kingdom of Judah and Joseph, Fifteenth Day, Ninth Month ("Kislev"), 5767; Yom Revi'i (Fourth Day of the Week/"Wednes"-day, December 6, 2006), Root & Branch Information Services [mailto:rb@rb.org.il]:

A 19-year-old Israeli-American has been charged with attempted murder for what he said was throwing a clump of sand during a melee with Palestinians in the Gaza Strip. Shimshon Cytryn faces a maximum of 20 years in jail if convicted in
connection with a rock battle on the beach of the Gaza Strip weeks before the Israeli military evicted more than 10,000 Jews from the area in August, 2005. Cytryn, who said he threw sand toward a Palestinian, was the only Israeli in the melee charged with attempted murder.

"All they [the authorities] want is to see him [Cytryn] sit in jail", Marilyn Cytryn, Shimshon's grandmother, said after a hearing in the Beersheba District Court on November 21.

Cytryn has been charged with trying to kill 18-year-old Hilal Ziad Mujaida during a rock battle between Jewish and Arab residents of the Katif Bloc in the southern Gaza Strip on June 29, 2005. A video presented by the prosecution showed Cytryn hurling something toward the Palestinians, many of whom threw bricks and rocks toward the Jews. Several Jews were injured in the clash.

Mujaida, who was also seen throwing rocks, was struck in the melee, and the video taken by television news crews showed him bleeding from the forehead. The video then showed Cytryn leaping toward a stone barrier and throwing something toward Mujaida.

No Palestinian was arrested or charged in the melee, but four other Israelis were arrested and charged with crimes ranging from aggravated assault to disorderly conduct. Avinoam Crispin, 19, was charged with aggravated assault and spent 10 months under house arrest. In October, 2006, Crispin reached a plea bargain in which he was convicted of disorderly conduct and sentenced to five months community service.

"At first they wanted to charge him [Crispin] as they did Shimshon -- with attempted murder", Crispin's father, Shlomo, recalled. "Soldiers caught him when he tried to kick the Arab, but this does not amount to attempted murder".

Supporters said the indictment of Cytryn was part of a vendetta against his father. In 1995, Cytryn's father, Shmuel, was arrested and held without trial for eight months. The elder Cytryn, an activist of the banned Kach movement, was detained after he released hospital records that challenged the official version of the assassination of Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin.

"Shimshon is high on the list of the Shabak [Israel Security Agency]", Shmuel Cytryn said. "The Cytryn family is targeted because of its activities on the extreme right. We represent something that to them is the enemy".

The prosecution did not bring Mujaida to testify in the trial of the junior Cytryn, who has spent most of the last year either in jail or house arrest. Instead, the prosecution summoned an Israeli soldier, Shimon Marom, who said he sought to protect Mujaida from further harm after he was struck in the head.

In his testimony, Marom said he did not see Cytryn attack Mujaida. The 21-year-old soldier, who also appeared in the video, said he did not know whether Mujaida sustained additional injury before he was handed over to a company commander.

"During the incident I did not see the throwing of the object because my back was turned to the injured person", Marom testified. "Immediately afterwards, the injured person tried to stand but couldn't so a journalist helped me lift him up to take him, and after a few minutes we met Avi Shaked [company commander]. He took the injured with the journalist to another place and then I was out of the picture".

"When the injured person got up and fell down, were there any injuries other than his forehead?" defense Attorney Yarom HaLevi asked.

"I didn't pay attention", Marom said.

Mujaida never filed a complaint against or identified Cytryn as his attacker. Despite a police search, the prosecution failed to retrieve the stone that allegedly struck Mujaida in the head nor did the prosecution supply medical evidence detailing Mujaida's injuries or hospitalization.

After the melee, Israel's state-owned media accused Cytryn of seeking to "lynch" Mujaida. But Mujaida told Israel Radio in early July that the injury on his forehead was caused by being struck by the rifle butt of an Israeli soldier.

"One soldier took me to a separate place -- not any settler -- and hit me with the rifle butt in my stomach and in my head", Mujaida said. "He put me against the wall and let children hit me".

Mujaida said he lost consciousness and did not know what happened next. But later in the radio interview, he said he was struck and injured by a stone. "Someone came behind the wall and threw a stone on my head and then I fainted", Mujaida said.

For his part, Cytryn acknowledged that he participated in the melee. But he said he threw clumps of sand rather than rocks. "I threw clumps of dirt", Cytryn testified. "I wanted to deter them".

The trial was scheduled to end on December 10. Cytryn has been arrested several times for violating a court order to remain under house arrest.

"They [the police] were waiting for him when it was clear he had permission to be with us", Hedva Herbst, Cytryn's host, recalled. "They [the police] said they made a mistake".

Despite the lack of prosecution witnesses, the three-judge panel appears ready to convict Cytryn. At one point, the judges sought to adjourn the trial until February, 2007, while Cytryn remains in jail.

"How long has he served?" presiding Judge Ruth Avidah asked Judge Chana Slutky.

"Three months", Slutky replied.

"This time will be deducted [from the sentence]", Avidah said.

Shabbat Shalom,

Mrs. Elli Rodan

Editor
ISRAELJUSTICE.COM
P.O.B. 7606
91075 Jerusalem


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