Appeal rejected for Israelis convicted of burning Palestinian teen to death

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Mohammed Abu Khdeir, 16, is seen in this undated family handout picture released July 6, 2014. (Reuters)
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Hussein Abu Khdeir, the Palestinian father of a teenager who was beaten and burned alive by three members of a Jewish gang in 2014. (AFP)
Updated 08 February 2018
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Appeal rejected for Israelis convicted of burning Palestinian teen to death

JERUSALEM: Israel’s supreme court on Thursday rejected an appeal by three members of a Jewish gang convicted of kidnapping, beating and burning alive a Palestinian teenager in 2014.
The decision upholds life sentences for two of them and a 21-year jail term for the third over the chilling attack that was part of a spiral of violence ahead of the 2014 Gaza war.
Israeli settler Yosef Haim Ben-David was convicted of leading the assault on Mohammed Abu Khdeir, 16, that shocked Israelis and Palestinians alike.
The two others have not been named since they were minors — 16 — at the time of the crime. Ben-David, whose claim of insanity was rejected, was 31 when he was sentenced to life in May 2016.
Abu Khdeir’s father welcomed the court’s decision, but again called for the assailants’ homes to be demolished as Israel routinely does for Palestinian attackers.
“These people are like Nazis,” Hussein Abu Khdeir told journalists outside the courtroom after the decision was announced.
Abu Khdeir’s killing was part of a spiral of violence that led to a 50-day war in the Gaza Strip in summer 2014.
He was kidnapped from Israeli-annexed east Jerusalem on July 2, 2014 and beaten, with his burned body found hours later in a forest in the western part of the city.
A forensic report showed smoke in his lungs, indicating he was alive when set alight.
It was seen as revenge for the killing of Israelis Naftali Frenkel, Gilad Shaer and Eyal Yifrach, who were abducted from a hitchhiking stop near the flashpoint West Bank city of Hebron.
Israeli authorities said the suspects had decided to kill an Arab in revenge and equipped themselves with cable ties, petrol and other materials before randomly choosing Abu Khdeir.


Protests to escalate with bigger Palestinian participation in Gaza and beyond

Updated 59 min 17 sec ago
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Protests to escalate with bigger Palestinian participation in Gaza and beyond

LONDON: Hamas movement’s senior political leader Ismael Haniyeh has warned Israel that forthcoming protests at the border with Gaza are to intensify in the next few weeks.

Hanieh, in a speech in Gaza, promised Israel that protests will escalate after May 15 and will draw Palestinians living in Israel as well as Palestinian diaspora in refugee camps and neighboring countries.

In addition, Haniyyeh said that earlier protests achieved their initial goal by reminding the world that the Palestinians are still suffering under Israeli occupation.

The Hamas leader promised larger demonstrations at the start of Ramadan, that will coincide with the 70th anniversary of Nakba, and the date chosen to transfer the US embassy to Jerusalem as well as the anniversary of the creation of the state of Israel.

A senior official in the Supreme National Council governing the ‘March of Return’ revealed that officials held meetings with the Fatah movement in the Gaza Strip, during which they agreed that all parties will arrange similar protests in the coming weeks.

The official also advised Palestinians in neighboring countries to join the protests against Israel as long as this does not expose them to reprisals, danger or violence on the day.

The senior official said that the Israeli authorities are on high alert and fear for the first time since 1967 that matters might escalate dangerously in May, the month Israelis celebrate the creation of the state of Israel.

And he added that Israel is preparing for a potential Israeli-Palestinian exodus toward villages and towns they were kicked out from in 1948 by Zionist gangs.