Two minors have been sentenced after being found guilty of burning 16-year-old Mohammed Abu Khdeir to death last year, however another defendant was acquitted after being deemed medically unfit to stand trial.
The judge at the Jerusalem District Court acknowledged that 31-year-old Yosef Chaim Ben-David had indeed committed the murder, however he was deemed unfit to stand trial.
According to the indictment, the three hit Abu Khdeir on the head and then burned him alive, killing him. The three suspects claimed they committed the heinous crime to avenge the killing of three settlers in Hebron a month before the crime.
Abu Khdeir’s body was found in a forest in Jerusalem.
The indictment states that the three suspects looked for any Arab to be their victim and that they abducted Abu Khdeir from the Beit Hanina area in Jerusalem after confirming he was Arab. They forced him into their car while he tried to fight them off.
Ben-David was quoted to have ordered one of the minors to “end him”, and one of the minors then strangled Abu Khdeir until he passed out, while the other helped. The group then took Abu Khdeir to a forest in Jerusalem, and Ben-David took a crowbar and pounded Abu Khdeir until he was unconscious. He also kicked the boy several times.
They then poured fuel on him and set him alight. The culprits fled the scene, burnt their belongings and returned to Ben-David’s house in the West Bank settlement of Adam, played guitar and went to sleep, the indictment explained.
A date is due to be set for sentencing later today.
Dozens of Palestinians protested in front of the court demanding the harshest punishment to be issued against the killers.