3 men who killed Ashdod taxi driver get life sentences

Petah Tikva District Court convicts Palestinians Mahmad Haldi, Mahmoud Uda, Ahmed Hanaini in murder of 55-year old Gregory Rabinovitch.

Haldi and Uda 248.88 (photo credit: Courtesy)
Haldi and Uda 248.88
(photo credit: Courtesy)
Central District Court on Sunday handed down life sentences to three Palestinians who robbed and murdered an Israeli taxi driver last year.
The three convicted killers are Mahmud Ouda, Mahmud Khaldi and Ahmed Khaneini, all of whom lived in the Jenin area.
RELATED:7 nabbed for cab-driver murderPalestinian teen shot dead
Their victim was 55-year-old Gregory Rabinowitz, from Ashdod, who was killed on May 11, 2009 in a field near Gan Yavneh. According to the indictment, Rabinowitz had been tied up and there were signs that he had suffered severe violence before he died.
At the time, the police declared that the taxi driver had been killed in a terrorist attack.
Ouda, 22, and Khaldi, 23, were arrested 12 days after Rabinowitz's murder. They told police Khaneini had been their accomplice.
According to the indictment, the three ordered Rabinowitz to drive them along a side road near Gan Yavneh and then attacked him and stole his money. During the assault, they decided to kill him.
They strangled him "only because he was a Jew," the indictment continued. "The defendants lay the taxi driver on his stomach [Khaneini] pulled out the string of the hooded shirt he was wearing and one of the others wrapped it around the driver's neck and pulled hard on it for several minutes."
"Then Khaldi stuffed the driver's mouth with pieces of cloth, shifted him over on his back while Khaneini strangled him and pressed with his hands on the driver's neck," the indictment continued. The three then kicked and punched Rabinowitz all over his body to make certain he was dead. They then turned him over again and covered his body with leaves and cardboard and fled with the taxi.
The original indictment charged the three killers with premeditated murder and robbery, but the robbery charges were dropped as part of a plea bargain with the prosecution. The judges, Avraham Tal, Clara Regiano and Rami Amir, accepted the agreement and sentenced the three to life imprisonment.