Israeli man gets life in prison for killing Palestinian teen

Jerusalem District Court sentences Israeli Yosef Haim Ben-David to life in prison for killing Palestinian teen in 2014.

Photo by: AP
Photo by: AP

Israeli Yosef Haim Ben David (C), convicted in the killing of 16-year-old Palestinian Abu Khdeir, arrives at a court in Jerusalem, April 19, 2016. Ben David was sentenced Tuesday to life plus 20 years in prison.

Updated May 4, 2016

An Israeli man convicted of murdering a Palestinian teenager in Jerusalem, a crime that helped trigger the 2014 Gaza conflict, was sentenced on Tuesday to life in prison.

Jerusalem District Court sentenced Yosef Haim Ben-David, who organised the killing of 16-year-old Mohammed Abu Khudair, to life, which in Israel usually means around 25 years, and an additional 20 years for other counts, to be served consecutively.

Two Jewish youths who helped Ben-David abduct the teen, who was bludgeoned, strangled and burned alive, were sentenced in February, one to life imprisonment and the other to 21 years.

All three defendants had confessed and said the July 2, 2014, murder was revenge for the killing days earlier of three Israeli youths by the Hamas movement in the occupied West Bank.

Ben-David, 30, had lodged an insanity plea that held up his formal conviction and sentencing. After receiving psychological assessments, the court ruled he "fully understood his actions" and found him guilty last month.

Abu Khudair's killing raised tensions, and a seven-week Israeli offensive against the Hamas-run Gaza Strip began on July 8, 2014, after alleged cross-border Palestinian rocket attacks.

Between 8 July and 27 August, at least 2,160 Palestinian died, including 1,462 civilians, of whom 495 were children and 253 women, says the UN reports.

On the Israeli side, 66 Israeli soldiers and six civilians were killed.


TRTWorld, Reuters