Palestinians plead not guilty in stoning murder

Trial resumes for 2 men indicted for murdering father and baby son on Route 60 in rock-throwing incident.

March 11, 2012 14:32
1 minute read.
Funeral of Kiryat Arba car accident victims

Funeral of Kiryat Arba car accident victims 311. (photo credit: Ben Hartman)

The two Palestinians charged with murdering a father and his baby son last September in a rock-throwing incident on Route 60 outside Kiryat Arba pleaded not guilty as their trial resumed at Ofer Military Court in the West Bank on Sunday.

Asher Hillel Palmer, aged 25, and his infant son Yonatan were killed when their car overturned on Route 60 outside Kiryat Arba. A subsequent police investigation into the deaths revealed that the father and son, from Kiryat Arba, were murdered as the result of rock throwing, not a car accident as the IDF had originally believed.

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If Ali Saadeh and Wa'al al-Arjeh are convicted of murder, it would mark the first time of such a conviction in a stone-throwing incident.

Both defendants are from Halhul in the West Bank. According to the indictments, the two carried out the attack in revenge for a "price tag" attack on a Nablus mosque shortly before the murder.

Sa'adeh was indicted on charges of attempted murder, conspiracy to murder and illegal military training. The indictment lists a total of 23 charges against him, all related to attacks and security offenses in the area, and including an attempt to fire an M-16 rifle at a passenger bus on Route 60.

Arjeh is charged with 30 offenses, including another attempted murder  in which the Palestinian man allegedly threw rocks at a bus in order to cause the deaths of passengers.

Asher Palmer's father, Michael, attended the first hearing in the case in February and said that he was upset to find that, while the defendants sat in court, a small crowd of people were allowed into the hearing to support and encourage them.

At the trial on Sunday, Michael Palmer said, "I hope justice will be done."

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