Middle East News
Palestinian given five life sentences for murder of settler family
Jan 16, 2012, 14:28 GMT
Tel Aviv - An Israeli military court in the northern West Bank sentenced a Palestinian to 132 years in jail Monday for the murder of a settler family.
Amjad Awad was handed five life sentences, one for each of the five family members killed, and an additional seven years for other offences, Israel Radio reported. His cousin, Akim, had already received a similar sentence in September.
The murder of the Fogel family in the settlement of Itamar, near Nablus on the northern West Bank, last March had shocked Israelis.
The pair, from the nearby village of Awarta, were both convicted of infiltrating the settlement - initially, it is believed, only to steal weapons.
Israeli authorities said the men added 'nationalist motives' behind their murder in later statements to their interrogators, to earn credit from Palestinian extremists.
They allegedly first stole a M16 semi-automatic weapon from an empty house before entering the Fogel's home, where they first stabbed to death two brothers aged 11 and four, then shot and stabbed their parents in the master bedroom.
They later re-entered the house and stabbed to death a three-month-old baby, so her cries would not give them away.
Two of the couple's other sons, aged eight and two, were left alone. The family's eldest daughter later came home to find them and the bodies.
The panel of Israeli military judges called the acts 'monstrous' and said Awad had failed to express regret or shame.
The Israeli military said it prevented a suspected attack Monday, possibly at or near the court, when its soldiers found 10 pipe bombs, a pistol and 100 bullets in the belongings of two Palestinians trying to cross the nearby Salem crossing, north of Jenin.