'We constantly think about Mohammad, how he burned'

Court set to hand down decision in brutal murder of Arab teen Abu Khdeir, burned alive in the summer of 2014.

By
November 30, 2015 08:08
2 minute read.
Abu Khdeir

Muhammad Abu Khdeir. (photo credit: REUTERS)

 
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Judge Jacob Zaban, of the Jerusalem District Court, was set to hand down his verdict in the case of the three alleged murderers of Muhammad Abu Khdeir, a 16-year-old Arab from Jerusalem’s Shuafat neighborhood who was abducted, burned and brutally murdered last year while waiting to enter a mosque.

The three, Yosef Haim Ben-David, the ringleader, and two additional Jewish minors, allegedly burned Abu Khdeir to death on July 2, 2014, as a nationalist revenge murder following the infamous kidnapping and killing of three Jewish teenagers in June 2014.

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The names of the minor defendants, one from Jerusalem and another from Beit Shemesh, remain under a gag order.

Ben-David, 30, from the settlement of Adam, who had been named as the leader of the three did not take the stand to defend himself against the allegations and earlier had unsuccessfully tried to plead insanity.



The names of the minor defendants, one from Jerusalem and another from Beit Shemesh, remain under a gag order. 

Hussein Abu Khdeir, Mohammad's father, who in the past said the trial of his son was a farce and a public relations stunt, told Army Radio on Monday morning that he wanted the court to sentence the accused killers to life. 

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"I want that what is done to Arabs will also be done to Jews: life sentences, not pardoning."

He said that he and his wife were taking pills to deal with the pain of losing their son. "We constantly think about Mohammad, how he burned. It is impossible, it is truly hard for us." 

On his son's accused killers he said: "These are the new Nazis. I look at them and they want to kill me."

The indictment of the three accused stated that Ben-David drove the car, while both minors attacked Abu Khdeir and threw him into the vehicle.

Abu Khdeir tried to call his uncle, attempted to escape and even kicked one of the defendants in the face before they overpowered him, according to the indictment, which said the defendants partially strangled Abu Khdeir and struck him on the head multiple times, as Ben-David called out the names of murdered Jews such as Shalhevet Pas, the Fogel family, Gil-Ad Shaer, Eyal Yifrah and Naftali Fraenkel.

Next, Ben-David allegedly told the minors to burn Abu Khdeir’s body to erase evidence, and they doused him with gasoline and started to burn him while he was still alive. Police found the teenager’s badly burned remains about one hour after he was reported kidnapped.

Following the indictment of the three, the Defense Ministry recognized Abu Khdeir as a victim of hostile action and granted his family compensation rights identical to those received by victims of Arab terrorism – assuming its decision is adopted by the National Insurance Institute.

(Prison guards escort Yosef Ben David last year, one of three Israeli suspects in the murder of Palestinian teen Mohammed Abu Khdeir.)

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