Jerusalem – A 32 year old man was sentenced to life in prison plus 20 years after burning alive a 16 year old teenager in 2014.

Yosef Haim Ben-David, the ringleader of the group of 3 that murdered 16 year-old Muhammad Abu Khdeir ,was sentenced by the Jerusalem District Court for the murder that took place on July second, 2014.

Ben-David and his lawyers had made an insanity plea to the Jerusalem District Court by the ends of the trial last month, but it was rejected. The two partners that helped the ringleader are teenage boys, whose identities still remain a mystery.

Yosef Haim Ben David in court
Yosef Haim kidnapped Muhammad Abu Khdeir near his home at East Jerusalem in 2014. The murderer drove to a forest on the outsides of the city where he murdered the teenager alongside two other boys. Credit: Times of Israel

A murder caused by extremist religion issues

Yosef Haim Ben-David, 32, owns an eyewear shop on Jerusalem, he is married and is the father of a young daughter. Ben-David was raised by an Orthodox rabbi and lived in a Jewish settlement.

Ben-David kidnapped 16-year-old Muhammad Abu Khdeir near his home at East Jerusalem two years ago. The murderer along with two teenage boys drove to a forest on the outsides of the city. The three men grabbed Abu Khdeir, beat him until he became unconscious and then burned the teenage boy to death on July, 2014.

The body of the teenaager was found burned in the forest. This caused a series of palestinian angry protests for weeks. And it also contributed to the tensions between the Israelis and the Islamists at the Gaza war.

Israeli officers labeled the issue as a series of inconceivable and repulsive acts. The family of the teenager shouted to Ben-David that he was a “murderer” a “piece of garbage” and was “no better than a Nazi” said a report from the Washington Post.

Yosef Haim was accused of manipulating two minors to kill the palestinian teenage boy, who had been triggered by the murder of Israeli yeshiva students. Before kidnapping Mohammed Abu Khdeir, Ben-David tried to kidnap an 8 year old boy in a near street. The action was blocked by the kid’s mother who shouted and screamed for help.

Even though the identities of the two teenagers that helped Ben-David have not been revealed one of them was sentenced to life in prison. The other teenager however,was given 21 years because he was not as involved in the actions. The father of the victim, Hussein Abu Khdeir said the punishment was not enough.

“He should be sentenced to 20 lifetimes in prison. He should never be released” said Khdeir to the Washington Post.

The Khdeir family is also demanding for Ben-David home to be demolished as part of the punishment, something similar that happens to Palestinian attackers.

Ben-David  was also ordered by the court to pay the Khdeir family 150,000 shekels (The equivalent to $40,000) and 20,000 shekels to the family of the boy he tried to kidnap.

Source: Washington Post