American sentenced to 2 1/2 years in prison for importing weapons

An American living on a radical West Bank settlement was sentenced to 2 and a half years in prison for trying to import weapons that could be used to kill Palestinians.

Forty-year-old Jeffrey Seth, formerly of North Carolina, was arrested last year after claiming a shipping container that contained a snipers' rifle, a crossbow, a bullet-making machine, gunpowder, cartridges, 1,200 bullets and other munitions, according to a court statement.

Seth was convicted earlier this year of illegally importing, possessing and planning to manufacture weapons.

Judge Bracha Bar Ziv of Haifa District Court said the prosecution failed to prove he planned to turn the weapons on Arabs, but rejected the defense's argument that he intended to donate the weapons to the Israeli army.

After immigrating to Israel in March 2006, Seth moved to Tapuah, a far-right Jewish settlement in the West Bank.

Shortly after he was indicted last year, an interviewer asked him if he ever thought of using the rifle on Palestinians. "Well, I can't say that the thought didn't cross my mind, every time you see a suicide attack," he told Israel Radio.

Seth was arrested at Haifa port in northern Israel after authorities there alerted police to their suspicions that weapons were in the container.

No U.S. hometown for Seth was immediately available.