Two Israeli minors to be sentenced for burning Palestinian teen alive

Published January 13th, 2016 - 02:10 GMT
According to the UN, 2,200 lives were claimed during the 2014 Iraeli-Palestinian war. (File photo)
According to the UN, 2,200 lives were claimed during the 2014 Iraeli-Palestinian war. (File photo)

A Jerusalem court on Wednesday was to hold a sentencing hearing in the case of two Israeli men convicted last year of abducting and murdering a Palestinian teenager, AFP reports.

The two were minors at the time of the chilling 2014 attack in which they snatched Mohammed Abu Khdeir, 16, from an East Jerusalem street and subsequently burned him alive.

They cannot be identified, by court order, and Wednesday’s deliberations, due to begin at 2:30 pm (12:30 GMT), were to be held behind closed doors.

The killing was part of a spiral of violence that led to a 50-day war in between Israel and Hamas in the Gaza Strip last year.

Yosef Ben David, 31, is said to have led the attack on Abu Khdeir, but his lawyers say he suffers from a mental illness and was not responsible for his actions at the time.

The court has found that he committed the crime, but is yet to rule if he is mentally competent. Justice officials said he would not be in court on Wednesday.

The stay of judgment in his case came amid a wave of Palestinian attacks and protests that since October 1 have claimed the lives of 149 on the Palestinian side, 91 of whom Israel has identified as attackers.

Since the start of the upsurge in violence, 23 Israelis, an American and an Eritrean have been killed in near-daily spate of stabbings and car-ramming attacks.

Abu Khdeir was abducted and killed two days after it emerged that three Israeli teens who had been abducted three weeks earlier in the West Bank had been killed by their Palestinian kidnappers shortly after their disappearance.

The Gaza war that followed killed more than 2,200 people, making 2014 the bloodiest year of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, according to the United Nations.

Editor's note: This article has been edited from the source material

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