Israeli judge rejects insanity defense, convicts man of killing Palestinian

Story highlights

  • Third defendant faces possible life sentence in Mohammed Abu Khdeir's murder
  • Palestinian teenager's killing escalated tensions before the 2014 Gaza war

(CNN)The third defendant in the 2014 murder of Palestinian teenager Mohammed Abu Khdeir has been convicted after an Israeli court rejected a last-minute insanity defense Tuesday.

The convicted man, Yosef Haim Ben-David, now faces the probability of being sentenced to life in prison. Two minors were convicted of murder earlier in the case. A judge sentenced one to life and the other to 21 years in prison.
    Abu Khdeir, 16, was kidnapped, beaten and burned alive in Jerusalem in July 2014. His charred body was later found in a forest.
    The Palestinian teen was murdered following the killing in the West Bank of three Israeli teens who were abducted on their way home from school. The teens' bodies were found more than two weeks later.
    The separate killings contributed to soaring of tensions between Israelis and Palestinians before the 2014 Gaza war.

    Palestinian father: 'The court brought nothing new'

    The judge had ruled in December that Ben-David was responsible for the killing. Tuesday's ruling rejected a defense of insanity, finding instead that the defendant was responsible for his actions.
    Speaking to CNN after the hearing, Hussein Abu Khdeir, the father of Mohammed, said he was frustrated with the drawn-out legal process.
    "This is what we know from the beginning. The court brought nothing new, but it was and still is, wasting time," he said. "Now, after 36 court sessions, after a year and nine months, they discovered that this was a murder? They burned my son and are still burning the whole family slowly."
    The father said he submitted two papers to the court. The first requests the demolition of the killers' homes, a measure the Israeli government has used only against the families of Palestinian attackers.
    The second paper requests Israel to revoke the killers' citizenship.
    "I am very emotional and angry after today's session," Abu Khdeir said.