Sat, Feb 06, 2016 - Page 7 News List

Two Israeli men sentenced over revenge murder

NY Times News Service, JERUSALEM

It was a case that shocked Israel and the world: the brutal murder of a Palestinian teenager named Muhammad Abu Khdeir, 16. He was abducted on July 2, 2014, beaten, choked and then burned to death.

On Thursday, an Israeli court gave lengthy prison sentences to two young Jews involved in the murder: One for life and the other for 21 years. Their names have not been made public because they were 16 at the time of the crime.

Abu Khdeir was killed the day after the burial of three Israeli yeshiva students who had been kidnapped and murdered by men affiliated with Hamas and his death was seen as a revenge killing by Jewish extremists.

Palestinian protests were widespread and rockets were fired from Gaza. Within a week, Israel was at war with Hamas in Gaza. Thousands of people died in the seven-week conflict, most of them Palestinians.

The man who organized the murder of Abu Khdeir and the two teenagers who were sentenced on Thursday all confessed to a revenge killing and were found guilty in November last year. However, the man — Yosef Haim Ben-David, the main defendant in the case — pleaded insanity at the last minute. The court is to rule on his case later.

The court also ordered each of the teenagers to pay the Abu Khdeir family 30,000 Israeli shekels (US$7,716) in compensation.

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