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American-Israeli Teenager Is Sentenced to 10 Years for Bomb Hoaxes

Category: Politics,War & Conflict

After the sentencing in Tel Aviv on Thursday, the teenager’s mother told reporters outside the courtroom: “This is the most cruel, cruel thing in the world. I’m very sorry, but I am ashamed that the country acts this way.” She added that her son needed treatment and rehabilitation and that “his place is not in prison.”

Because of the court restrictions, little is known about the man’s family. His behavior was considered unusual from an early age, according to court documents, and he was home-schooled because he never adapted to regular educational frameworks.

At the time of his arrest, neighbors said the defendant’s father was an Israeli-born engineer and his mother was a Westerner, presumably an American.

The hoax calls appear to have started in the spring of 2015, when he would have been about 16. Between April 2015 and March 2017, prosecutors said, he called about 2,000 institutions, claiming that bombs had been planted or threatening an imminent shooting attack, prompting evacuations and bringing out the police and emergency services.

The hoaxer usually chose elementary schools, because those threats created more chaos and were taken more seriously.

In addition to the United States and Israel, threats were received in Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Britain, Canada, Denmark, Germany, Ireland, New Zealand, Norway and Sweden.

Flights were canceled and planes grounded. In the family’s apartment, a few blocks from the beach, the defendant had installed a powerful antenna enabling him to connect with distant wireless networks. He then followed the reports in the news media and documented the results of his actions.

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