The Judea Military Court on Wednesday sentenced the driver in the July 1, 2016 driveby killing of Rabbi Michael Mark to two life terms in prison and fined him NIS 250,000.The sentence took into account the involvement of Palestinian Authority security forces member Muhammad Abd Al-Majid Amaira in injuring Mark’s wife, Chavi, and their two children, ages 13 and 15, during the shooting attack and his involvement in three earlier, unsuccessful murder attempts.An IDF statement said it “joins in the sorrow of the family of Rabbi Mark... and will continue to defend the security of the citizens of the state and to render the full force of justice to terrorists.”
Mark was one of the heads of the Othniel Yeshiva and a wellknown personality. His family released multiple statements. They emphasized in one that they were not particularly interested in what happened to the 38-year-old Amaira, as they were still focused on trying to heal from the terrorist attack. In the other, they said it was important that Amaira never be released in any future deals or prisoner swaps.In August 2016, the IDF demolished Amaira’s home after the High Court of Justice rejected a petition to block the action in the West Bank town of Dura, 7 kilometers southwest of Hebron.Amaira has been in Israeli custody since mid-July. He confessed to being the driver in the July 1 shooting attack on Route 60 near Othniel after his arrest.The gunman, Muhammad Fakia, was killed on July 27 in Tzurif, near Hebron, during an exchange of fire, after he barricaded himself inside a home and opened fire with a Kalashnikov rifle on security personnel. Security forces had previously arrested Amaira in connection with the attack. According to the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency), he confessed to acting as the driver as Fakia fired from the moving vehicle.Fakia’s brother, who confessed to helping the gunman hide the rifle after the attack, was also taken into custody.An uncle of the two brothers, Ma’az Fakia, was also arrested, and said during questioning that he hosted Fakia at his home in the days following the murder. Other members of the family were also arrested on suspicion of assisting Fakia and helping him hide.Yaakov Lappin contributed to this report.
IDF raid in Tzurif in West Bank to catch terrorist that killed Rabbi Michael Mark on July 1, 2016