David Eran was sentenced to 20 years in prison on Tuesday for the brutal killing of 18-year-old Hili Sobol at the behest of his girlfriend, the victim’s jealous twin sister.
The sentence, handed down by the Tel Aviv District Court, comes following a plea deal that also saw Shiri Sobol, Hili’s twin sister, get six years’ imprisonment for her role in the vicious killing in which Eran stabbed his victim more than 130 times in the stairwell of the family’s apartment building on February 18, 2016.
Shiri Sobol developed “intense hatred” for her sister after a series of arguments and Hili’s return from boarding school, the court had been told, and encouraged Eran to murder her.
Initially Shiri Sobol was also accused of murder, but following the deal, in which she and Eran confessed to their actions, she was charged only with soliciting grievous bodily harm. Eran’s jail term was shortened in the deal as well.
The deal was struck after the twins’ mother pleaded with the court for clemency. Eran was also sentenced to pay NIS 250,000 ($73,000) in compensation to Sobol’s mother.
From July 2015 until the time of the murder, Shiri Sobol sent text messages to Eran expressing her antipathy for Hili with phrases such as: “That’s it, I’m fed up with living here with that nutcase,” and “It’s hard for me to live like this when she’s here at home. It’s not her house, she should get out of my life.”
Shiri even sketched out the scenarios in which she wished Hili would die, the prosecution charged.
“I hope she dies already,” she allegedly wrote, and, “If only an Arab or a terrorist would stab her.” She also wrote to Eran that Hili wanted her to break off her relationship with him and had threatened that her friends would hurt him if Shiri refused. Thus the idea of getting rid of Hili was planted in Eran’s head, the prosecution claimed.
Shiri and Eran allegedly planned the murder several months in advance and — according to the charge sheet — even made two unsuccessful attempts.
On the day of the killing, Eran took two knives and a change of clothes, the prosecution alleged. Shiri told him that Hili was at home, whereupon he came to the stairwell of the building, put on gloves, and on meeting Hili outside the apartment, stabbed her more than 130 times all over her body. It was all done with the full knowledge and agreement of sister Shiri, who even watched the killing, the prosecution said.
Some four minutes after the killing, Shiri called the police to report that her sister had been stabbed by an unknown person, apparently an Arab. That was while Eran was in the apartment, cleaning blood off his clothes and changing into a new set. Shiri hid his bloodied clothes and knives, and when the police came, she said that an Arab had stabbed her sister.
All the while, Eran was hiding in the twins’ mother’s room, which Shiri had locked and told police they couldn’t enter. While in the apartment with the police officers, she texted Eran and coordinated their versions to have him tell officers that an Arab man had stabbed Hili and that he had tried to help her. At one point, the officers’ suspicions were raised and they found and arrested Eran.
The charge sheet said that after Eran’s arrest, he told another detainee in a police van and in a detention room in court that he had committed the murder, which he described in detail, the prosecution charged. He also revealed that the two of them had planned the murder over some months and had even tried and failed to carry it out on three occasions. When the same detainee met Shiri Sobol and asked her why she’d murdered her sister, Sobol allegedly replied: “Now I’ll have quiet.”
Sue Surkes contributed to this report.