(February 8, 2018 / JNS) The Supreme Court on Thursday rejected the appeals of three Jewish men convicted of murdering an Palestinian teenager, Muhammad Abu Khdeir, in 2014, upholding their convictions and respective sentences.
In 2016, the Jerusalem District Court convicted ringleader Yosef Haim Ben David for the abduction, burning, and murder of 16 year old Abu Khdeir, sentencing him to life in prison plus 20 years. Ben David’s appeal attempted to convince the Supreme Court to accept an insanity plea that was similarly rejected by the lower court.
The two minors’ appeals attempted to show that they had agreed to kidnap and beat Abu Khdeir, but did not know that Ben David intended to kill him. The two minors received sentences of life in prison, and 21 years in prison, respectively.
Abu Khdeir was kidnapped in Jerusalem, burned and killed just three days after the bodies of three Israeli teenagers–Eyal Yifrach, Gilad Shaar, and Naftali Frankel–were recovered by IDF forces after a massive 18 day manhunt. The three were kidnapped by Palestinians from a bus stop post in Judea. The murders of the three Israelis, and then Abu Khdeir, fueled tensions across Israel and contributed to the breakout of the 2014 Israel–Gaza conflict.
The defense ministry subsequently recognized Abu Khdeir as a victim of terror, granting his family the benefits and compensation of Israeli families who suffer from terrorism.