Published On: Wed, Apr 20th, 2016

Court Convicts Jewish Killer of Arab Teen, Rejects Insanity Plea

ISRAEL- Palestine -MERDUR- Yosef Ben-David in court (Photo Gill Yohanan)

The man accused of kidnapping and murdering Palestinian teenager Muhammad Abu Khdeir two years ago was convicted Tuesday by the Jerusalem District Court.

The court found that Yosef Ben David killed Abu Khdeir for nationalistic motives and was cognizant of what he was doing. A statement from the Justice Ministry explained:

The court has found that at the time he committed the offense, the accused was not psychotic, fully understood the facts, was responsible for his actions, had no difficulty in understanding reality and had the capacity to prevent the crime.

Two of Ben David’s accomplices were convicted in February. One, who is now 17 years old, was charged with actively helping to kill Abu-Khdeir and was sentenced to life in prison and NIS 35, 000 in restitution to two Palestinian families. The other defendant, who is 16, received a 21-year sentence and was ordered to pay NIS 30, 000 to Abu-Khdeir’s family.

Ben David’s conviction was delayed as the court considered and rejected a last-minute insanity plea. He will have a sentencing hearing next month.

Abu Khdeir was abducted near his home on July 1, 2014, two days after it was revealedthat three kidnapped Israeli teens had been murdered. He was later doused with gasoline and set on fire. The murder of Abu Khdeir was recognized as an act of terrorism and roundly condemned by Israeli officials, including Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu,  who called on the police to work quickly to solve the case. Security forces made arrests a few days after the crime.


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