Israel convicts two in murder of Palestinian teen

Mohammed Abu Khdeir, 16, suffered burns on ‘90 percent of his body’ and whose abduction and murder sparked days of violent protests

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An Israeli court on Monday found two Jewish defendants guilty of the 2014 murder of a Palestinian teenager in Jerusalem, but held off on formally convicting a third man pending a psychological review, Israeli broadcasters said.

Mohammed Abu Khdeir was 16 years old when he was abducted, brutally attacked and burned alive by Israeli extremists in July of last year.

Israeli prosecutors soon charged three over the kidnapping and murder. One of the defendants being a 31-year-old from the West Bank settlement of Adam while the two others were 16-year-olds, one from Jerusalem and the other Beit Shemesh, an Israeli town west of Jerusalem. All were from the same family.

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The court also delayed the verdict against the third suspect in the case, 31-year-old Yosef Haim Ben David, following a last-minute insanity disorder plea.

The two minors confessed to abducting, bludgeoning and burning Abu Khdeir in what they described as revenge for the killing days earlier of three Israeli youths.

The incidents touched off Israeli-Palestinian violence that culminated in the seven-week Gaza war.

Abu Khdeir's father denounced the delay in the verdict for the man accused of being the ringleader and called for the trio's houses to be demolished, as Israel does for Palestinian attackers.

“The court behaves one way with Arabs and another way with Jews,” Hussein Abu Khdeir told reporters outside the court, calling the last-minute psychiatric report by Ben-David's lawyers a “trick” and asking why it was not submitted earlier.

(With AFP and the Associated Press)


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