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Israeli Sentenced to Life for Killing Palestinian Teen

  • VOA News

FILE - Israeli Yosef Haim Ben David (C), convicted in the killing of 16-year-old Palestinian Abu Khdeir, arrives at a court in Jerusalem, April 19, 2016. Ben David was sentenced Tuesday to life plus 20 years in prison.

FILE - Israeli Yosef Haim Ben David (C), convicted in the killing of 16-year-old Palestinian Abu Khdeir, arrives at a court in Jerusalem, April 19, 2016. Ben David was sentenced Tuesday to life plus 20 years in prison.

An Israeli court has handed down a life prison term to the accused ringleader of an Israeli gang that kidnapped and burned to death a Palestinian teenager in 2014.

Defendant Yosef Haim Ben David, sentenced Tuesday in Jerusalem, also received an additional 20 years for related crimes, and was ordered to pay the family of his 16-year-old victim $39,000.

Two other Israelis have already been convicted in the death of Mohammed Abu Khdeir, with one defendant receiving a life prison term and the other 21 years.

Ben David was found guilty last month of masterminding the crime, which investigators said began with the July 2014 abduction of Abu Khdeir from his East Jerusalem neighborhood. Prosecutors said the trio then drove their victim into a forest and set him on fire. The killing was linked to the abduction and deaths of three Israeli teens killed in the West Bank a month earlier by Hamas militants.

The court also rejected Ben David's insanity plea as the verdict was delivered April 19, saying he was fully aware of his actions at the time of the murder.

The July 2014 murder helped stoke violence that led to the 50-day Gaza war, in which 2,200 Palestinians were killed, along with 66 Israeli soldiers and seven civilians.

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