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.


US-backed SDF denies report of final Daesh defeat

Updated 16 min 10 sec ago
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US-backed SDF denies report of final Daesh defeat

  • The SDF has denied the claims made by Syrian Kurdish news outlet Hawar

DEIR AL-ZOR, Syria: The US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) denied a report on Thursday that all of Daesh’s final enclave has been captured after a Kurdish media outlet said the militant group had been finally defeated there.
“Combing continues in the Baghouz camp and there is no truth (to the report) about the complete liberation of the village,” an SDF media official said, quoting the commanders of the offensive.
Earlier, Hawar News reported the SDF had “liberated all of Baghouz from the Daesh mercenaries” and with that the campaign had “ended with the defeat of Daesh and the victory of the SDF,” quoting its correspondents.
Daesh’s final defeat at Baghouz will end its territorial rule that once spanned a third of Iraq and Syria.
The SDF on Tuesday captured an encampment where the militants had been mounting a last defense of the tiny enclave, pushing diehard fighters onto a sliver of land at the Euphrates riverside.
US President Donald Trump said on Wednesday that a “tiny spot” of remaining Daesh territory would be “gone by tonight.”
French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian, whose country has participated in the campaign, said on Wednesday he expected the announcement of the “final territorial defeat” to be made in the “next few days.”