An Israeli has been sentenced to life and another to 21 years in jail for the brutal murder of Palestinian teenager Muhammad Abu Khdeir, a court ruled today.
Abu Khdeir’s family had been seeking life sentences for both defendants but their attorneys claimed their actions had been influenced by a third killer, 30-year-old Yosef Ben-David.
Ben-David, believed to be the group’s ringleader, has confessed to the killing along with the two minors, but has so far escaped conviction pending a last minute psychiatric evaluation.
Abu Khdeir, a 16-year-old from Shuafat in occupied East Jerusalem, was kidnapped and murdered by the three extremists in July 2014.
All three confessed to beating the teenager unconscious before pouring flammable liquid on him and setting him alight. An autopsy later confirmed that the teen had been burned alive.
The court also ordered the culprits compensate the Abu Khdeir family with 60,000 Israeli shekels ($15,350).
Abu Khdeir’s death sparked international condemnation and placed pressure on Israel to bring Jewish extremists to justice. Many critics said such attacks were the result of total impunity for Israelis who attack Palestinians.