Terrorist who killed Itamar Ben-Gal sentenced to life in prison

Asi, a 19-year-old Israeli Arab resident of Jaffa, stabbed 29-year-old Ben-Gal in February 2018, while he was waiting at a bus stop near the entrance to the settlement of Ariel.

Relatives and friends mourn as they stand around the body of Itamar Ben Gal, an Israeli killed in a stabbing attack on February 5, during his funeral in the Jewish settlement of Har Bracha in the West Bank, February 6, 2018.  (photo credit: REUTERS/JIM HOLLANDER/POOL)
Relatives and friends mourn as they stand around the body of Itamar Ben Gal, an Israeli killed in a stabbing attack on February 5, during his funeral in the Jewish settlement of Har Bracha in the West Bank, February 6, 2018.
(photo credit: REUTERS/JIM HOLLANDER/POOL)
Abed al-Karim Adel Asi, the Israeli Arab terrorist who murdered Rabbi Itamar Ben-Gal outside the settlement of Ariel, was sentenced on Sunday to life in prison by the Lod District Court.
Asi, a 19-year-old Israeli Arab resident of Jaffa, stabbed 29-year-old Ben-Gal in February 2018, while he was waiting at a bus stop near the entrance to the settlement of Ariel as Ben-Gal was heading to his nephew’s brit milah (circumcision).
After he was stabbed, Ben-Gal ran to a nearby stopped bus, knocking on the door before collapsing. An off-duty IDF officer, who witnessed the attack and saw Asi fleeing, hit him with his car. Despite being hit, Asi was able to escape from the scene with the help of an unidentified accomplice waiting in a vehicle nearby.
Asi was reported by Hebrew media to have had scouted the scene of the attack the previous day, taunting troops who were providing security for a nearby bus station. Due to his suspicious behavior, troops distanced him from civilians as they questioned him. After they ascertained that he was Israeli and released him, Asi swore at them saying: “I’ll remember your faces, you whores!”
He was arrested after a six-week-long manhunt by the Shin Bet (Israel Security Service), Israel Police Counterterrorism Unit officers and IDF troops from the Samaria Territorial Brigade.
The Lod District Court sentenced Asi to life in prison and having to pay compensation of NIS 258,000 to Ben-Gal's family, for murder with specified aggravating circumstances. The court ruled that "Asi planned the attack in advance and chose his target due to his 'Jewish features,'" said Judge Ruth Lorech.
Asi said before he was sentenced, "I did it because I do not receive medication. I did it with my whole head." He then turned to the representatives of the prosecutor's office and said, "You are the terrorists, not us."
A letter was handed to the judges written by Ben-Gal's parents, asking that Asi received the maximum sentence possible.
"We ask that he be sentenced to a prison sentence that will make him rot in prison until his last day," so "that he will no longer see the light of day," his parents wrote to the judges.
"We ask that you in no way include him in any future terrorist release deal," his parents wrote.
Anna Ahronheim contributed to this story.