Daniel Okev, ex-major who shot two British tourists paroled

After serving two-thirds of 20 year sentence, former member of Rimon patrol unit released for good behavior.

By DAN IZENBERG
October 15, 2010 04:29
2 minute read.
Daniel Okev

Okev 311. (photo credit: Courtesy)

Daniel Okev, the former army major who shot two British tourists in 1997, killing one of them and causing severe harm to the other, was released from jail on Thursday after he completed twothirds of his 20-year sentence and was paroled for good behavior.

According to the terms of his parole, Okev will have to register at a police station once a week, may not leave the country without permission from his parole board, and will remain under house arrest at night.

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The decision to release Okev was taken on Monday. In response to Okev’s request for parole, the board wrote, “Throughout the years of his imprisonment, he was never marked for a disciplinary violation and his conduct in and out of prison was and is unblemished. His advancement through the levels of rehabilitation has helped prepare him for living outside prison.”

The board also found that “those responsible for treating him are impressed by [Okev’s] genuine regret over the killing and the aggravated assault that he perpetrated against innocent people. The diagnoses and psychiatric treatment that he received during his imprisonment led him to understand, so he maintains, the strong connection that exists between his past military service in the Rimon patrol unit, during which he assassinated terrorists, and the grave killing and assault... which he perpetrated without any reasonable explanation.”

The Beersheba District Court found Okev guilty of murder in August 1999. The court sentenced him to 20 years in jail rather than the usual life sentence because he suffered from mental problems. The court accepted the opinion of the district psychiatrist that he had a limited ability to understand his actions or refrain from taking them because of a mental disturbance caused by an organic brain impediment.

On August 13, 1997, Okev, 45, picked up two British tourists, Jeffery Max Hunter, 22, and Charlotte Gibb, 20, who had been hitchhiking from the northern entrance to Eilat. After driving for an hour, he stopped the car for a rest. The three of them got out of the car, drank water, smoked a cigarette and chatted. Ten minutes later, without apparent cause, Okev went back to the car, took out his revolver and opened fire at his passengers.

Hunter was a meter away and was hit in the chest and neck. Okev then turned and fired at Gibb, hitting her in her arms and face. Gibb fell and pretended that she was dead until Okev drove off.

Okev was arrested a few days later. He said he had blacked out and did not remember shooting the two passengers.

When he came to, he saw that he was holding his revolver and that the two students were lying on the ground.


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