Second man accused in Itamar massacre on trial

Court postpones verdict in the murder trial of Amjad Awad, one of two men accused of murdering five members of the Fogel family in March.

Suspects in Fogel, Itamar massacre_311 (photo credit: Courtesy)
Suspects in Fogel, Itamar massacre_311
(photo credit: Courtesy)
Amjad Awad, the second man accused of murdering five members of the Fogel family in Itamar in March attended a hearing Tuesday at the Samaria Military Court in Salem.
Although the court was meant to rule on the case today, the judge has postponed the verdict until September at the request of Awad’s lawyer – who has refused to reveal his identity for fear of retaliation.
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Earlier this month, the Samaria Military Court convicted 18-year-old Hakim Awad for the murder of the five members of the Fogel family – three children aged between 3 months and 11 years, and their parents, Ehud and Ruth.
Although Hakim confessed to the murders, Judge Lt.-Col. Menahem Lieberman had nevertheless decided to examine detailed evidence gathered by the prosecution, including forensic findings, in order to rule out that the 18-year-old had lied about his part in the crime for “glory.”
Hakim was also convicted of weapons offenses and various other security offenses. He is expected to be sentenced in September, and the prosecution has stated it’s not seeking the death penalty.
The two youths are being tried separately because they have testified against each other.
According to Channel 2, 17-year-old Awad smiled in court and said he did not regret murdering them and that he would do the same again. However, his father told the court that his son was a good student and it is doubtful that he was one of the killers.
According to the IDF, Awad has already admitted all the charges against him in the indictment sheet.
The two youths were arrested in April following an intensive and large-scale investigation by the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency), the IDF’s elite Duvdevan Unit and forensic officers from the police’s Special Intelligence Branch.
Although the youths carried out the attack on their own initiative, they are affiliated with the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine terror group, and received significant assistance from family members and friends after the attack, the IDF said.
Days after the massacre, the Public Diplomacy and Diaspora Affairs Ministry released graphic photographs of the murdered members of the Fogel family in an attempt to show the international community the scale of the attack.
Yaakov Lappin contributed to this report.