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Palestinian who murdered Rabbi Shai Ohayon in 2020 gets life in prison

Khalil Abd al-Khaliq Dweikat, from the village of Rujeeb in the northern West Bank, was convicted of stabbing Ohayon to death on a Petah Tikva street

Rabbi Shai Ohayon, who was stabbed to death in a terror attack at Segula Junction, on August 26, 2020. (Courtesy)
Rabbi Shai Ohayon, who was stabbed to death in a terror attack at Segula Junction, on August 26, 2020. (Courtesy)

The Lod District Court on Sunday sentenced a Palestinian man to life in prison for the murder of Rabbi Shai Ohayon in the central city of Petah Tikva in 2020.

Khalil Abd al-Khaliq Dweikat, from the village of Rujeeb in the northern West Bank, was convicted last year of murder under aggravated circumstances and of “unlawful possession of a knife in the circumstances of an act of terrorism” for stabbing Ohayon on a street in the city.

The court on Sunday also ordered him to pay NIS 258,000 ($79,000) in compensation to the family.

The indictment against Dweikat said he worked at a construction site in the city and had a valid permit to be in Israel.

“The defendant considered and arrived at a decision to kill a Jewish Israeli citizen or soldier with a knife… for Palestine, the Palestinian people, Al-Aqsa Mosque and Allah,” prosecutors wrote.

Court papers showed that Dweikat confessed the crime to investigators. Throughout his investigation the defendant did not “show any empathy, remorse, or regret for the victim or his family,” prosecutors noted.

Khalil Abd al-Khaliq Dweikat, the Palestinian terrorist accused in the August murder of Rabbi Shai Ohayon in Petah Tikva, seen on a screen via a video link during a court hearing in Lod, on September 7, 2020. (Flash90)

Ohayon, a 39-year-old father of four, was a member of Petah Tikva’s ultra-Orthodox community and studied full time at a religious institution known as a kollel in the nearby town of Kfar Saba, according to ultra-Orthodox news outlets.

Taking a knife from the kitchen at the building site on August 26, Dweikat went looking for a victim. After an hour, at around 1:15 p.m., he saw Ohayon, whom he identified by his appearance as an ultra-Orthodox Jew.

“The defendant pulled out the knife from his pocket and stabbed the deceased with three deep cuts,” prosecutors wrote.

Ohayon called out for help and a passerby, noticing what was happening, threw an object at Dweikat in an effort to help the defendant.

“Only then did the defendant leave the deceased, who was already in critical condition, put the blood-covered knife in his pants pocket, and start to walk away,” according to the indictment.

According to investigators, at that point, Dweikat considered finding other people to stab, but was arrested shortly afterward.

Camera footage from the scene showed Dweikat calmly crossing an intersection alongside civilians shortly before police closed in on him.

Dweikat, a father of six, had no history of terrorist activities, the Shin Bet said shortly after the attack.

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