Israeli Court Convicts Primary Suspect in Abu-Khdeir Murder

JERUSALEM, April 19, 2016 (WAFA) – The primary suspect in the murder of Palestinian teenager Mohammed Abu Khdeir was convicted of murder on Tuesday, after an Israeli court in Jerusalem rejected an insanity plea presented by the defendant.

According to Israeli daily Haaretz, the court ruled that Yosef Chaim Ben-David properly understood what he was doing and was in full control of his actions, adding that he was able to prevent the crime from being committed.

Abu Khdeir’s attorney, Muhannad Jabara, said the court finally convicted Ben-David for charges of murder, kidnapping for the purpose of murder, and battery causing bodily harm, after 35 hearings have been concluded on the case.

Ben-David will be sentenced in early May, Jabara added.

Abu Khdeir’s family demanded that not only Ben-David be sentenced to life imprisonment, but that also his family home be punitively demolished, in parallel with the Israel’s policy of punitive demolition of family houses of Palestinians accused of carrying out attacks against Israelis.

In November 2015, the Jerusalem District Court convicted Ben-David’s two accomplices, both minors, to murder, but deferred Ben-David’s conviction due to a last-minute psychiatric evaluation that claimed he was not responsible for his actions at the time of the murder.

The two minors were sentenced in February: one to life in prison and the other to 21 years in prison. Each minor was also forced to pay the Abu Khdeir family 30,000 shekels (about $7,700) in compensation.

Abu Khdeir, 16, was abducted on July 2, 2014 from the Jerusalem Arab neighborhood of Shuafat, close to his home, before he was driven to the Jerusalem Forest, where he was beaten and burned alive by his kidnappers.

 

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