Israeli ringleader sentenced to life in prison for burning Palestinian teenager alive521 views
An Israeli settler was on Tuesday sentenced to life in prison for leading the abduction and murder of Palestinian teenager Mohammed Abu Khdeir, who was forced to swallow petrol and burned alive in a forest.
In a long-awaited ruling, Yosef Chaim Ben-David, 31 was convicted on charges including murder and kidnapping for the purpose of murder. He was also ordered to pay the Abu Khdeir family NIS 150,000 (£27,300) in damages, and an additional sum of NIS 20,000 (£3,600) to the Palestinian family whose seven-year-old child he also attempted to abduct.
Khdeir, 16, was kidnapped by Mr Ben-David and two teenage accomplices on July 2, 2014 near his home in occupied East Jerusalem. In a sequence of acts termed by the prosecution as “inconceivable and repulsive”, the gang brutally beat the teenager in a nearby forest, forced him to swallow petrol and then proceeded to burn him alive.
The murder took place just days after it became apparent that three Jewish teenagers had been abducted and killed, in a series of events which then escalated into the 51-day Gaza war during the summer of 2014.
Mr Ben-David’s accomplices, aged 17 and 16, were sentenced to life imprisonment and 21 years in prison respectively in November 2015. Mr Ben-David, however, was not sentenced at the time, due to a last minute plea of insanity.
On Tuesday, the Jerusalem court rejected the plea.
“The court has found that at the time he committed the offence, 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,” noted a statement from the Justice Ministry.
Mr Ben-David said he regretted his actions, saying “I apologise and ask forgiveness.”
According to the Jerusalem Post, a lawyer representing the Abu Khdeir family said he had filed a request to demolish the house of Mr Ben-David – a widespread practice for the homes of Palestinian attackers yet one which has never been applied to a Jewish attacker.
News Source Telegraph