Middle East: Crackdown on Jewish Militants

West Bank violence is punished and suicide bombers strike

Throughout the 13-month trial, the 15 Israeli defendants had worn self-assured smiles. The men described themselves as defenders of Jewish rights in the Israeli-occupied West Bank. Although many of them admitted their guilt, they seemed confident that they would be acquitted by an Israeli court. The crimes of which they stood accused, they declared, had been committed in response to terrorist acts by Arabs. But last week, when a three-judge panel found the 15 guilty on charges ranging from murder and attempted murder to conspiracy and possession of arms, their certainty gave way to shock and anger. Three of the defendants,...

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