Israeli minors who killed Palestinian teen to be sentenced
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Israeli minors who killed Palestinian teen to be sentenced

Two teens convicted of kidnapping and brutally murdering 16-year-old Muhammed Abu Khdeir due in court Wednesday

Police escort Yosef Ben David (in green), one of the Jewish suspects in the murder of Muhammed Abu Khdeir, in the Jerusalem District Court on June 8, 2015. (Hadas Parush/Flash90)
Police escort Yosef Ben David (in green), one of the Jewish suspects in the murder of Muhammed Abu Khdeir, in the Jerusalem District Court on June 8, 2015. (Hadas Parush/Flash90)

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.

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 p.m. (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 the Gaza Strip between Israel and Hamas terrorists 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 home of Muhammad Abu Khdeir in Shuafat, Jerusalem, July 8, 2014 (photo credit: Elhanan Miller/Times of Israel)
The home of Muhammad Abu Khdeir in Shuafat, Jerusalem, July 8, 2014 (Elhanan Miller/Times of Israel)

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 terror attacks that have claimed the lives of 23 Israelis, an American and an Eritrean. Most were killed in a near-daily spate of stabbings and car-ramming attacks by Palestinian assailants.

Since the start of the upsurge in violence in October, 149 Palestinians have been killed, 91 of whom Israel has identified as attackers.

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.

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