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Family of Mohammed Abu Khdeir continues to wait for justice as Israeli court again postpones trial for his killers

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Four months after the grisly slaying of Mohammed Abu Khdeir, his killers faced Jerusalem district court judges today to enter their pleas. Instead of responding to the charges, Yosef Haim Ben-David, the 29-year old settler from the Adam settlement and ringleader of the abduction, and two 16-year-old Israeli accomplices were all granted continuances. The trial was set to begin over the summer, however it was pushed back after defendants switched representation.

Today, lawyers for the three accused each presented their own arguments to stymie the court again.

Ben-David’s legal advocate asked for more time to order a mental health workup. Though Ben-David confessed to the crime in great detail including pre-meditation, he asserted that he may not be liable due to mental illness. His advocate requested an additional five-months from the three-judge panel. They granted him three weeks. The other two defendants sought procedural delays.

The lawyer for one of the teenage defendants said he was hired days ago by his client and was not briefed. The second youth’s attorney said while he was prepared to enter a plea, because the others were withholding pleas, he too would wait in the chance that their answers to jurists would influence his.

“Until now they are in jail, but is doesn’t mean they are going to stay in jail,” said the state’s attorney Uri Korv of the three defendants remand during the hearing. Korv is seeking a maximum sentence for Ben-David and a harsh conviction for the minors.

“I do not hope for anything from the Israeli court because it is a racist court,” said the deceased’s father Hussein Abu Khdeir, continuing, “It judges for the Israelis, not the Arabs.”

After his son’s killing, the elder Abu Khdeir’s life has been turned upside down. Israeli border police are perched outside of his house nightly. Until now, clashes continue disrupting the semblance of a quiet home life they once enjoyed in their leafy East Jerusalem suburb. Dozens of youngsters from the family have been arrested on charges of stone throwing. And to the family whose tragedy became intertwined with the war in Gaza, the court’s delay in moving past pre-trial signifies another let down.

“It is getting worse every day since Mohamed was kidnapped and killed,” said Hussein Abu Khdeir. His grief stricken wife, Suha Abu Khdeir called for the homes of the three killers to be demolished like those of Palestinians who commit crimes against Israel.

Until this past summer punitive home demolitions had been a retired policy of deterrence for the Israeli Defense Forces operating in the West Bank. But around the time of Abu Khdeir’s killing the policy was reinstated. It, however, has only been used against Palestinians as a punishment for the murder of Israelis.

“If they do it to the Arabs, I want the same thing,” said Suha Abu Khdeir leaving court distressed, “I want the rights of my son,” she continued.

Under police escort, while in the court’s corridors the two teens lifted their loose tee shirts overhead. Ben-David exited the trial room first, wearing a black and white tracksuit with sunny yellow sandals, and thick socks. His hair and beard were unkempt. He looked straight on to network cameras. This time Ben-David was silent. The last time he was before media at the arraignment he declared that he was “the messiah,” leading to questions whether spectators witnessed a performance or an actual display of insanity.

The two minors in the case have not yet been named because a gag has been placed on disclosing the identities of arrested youths. In court, they were simply each called “the defendant.”

Allison Deger
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Allison Deger is the Assistant Editor of Follow her on twitter at @allissoncd.

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14 Responses

  1. amigo
    October 20, 2014, 5:15 pm

    As European countries are taking votes on whether there should be a Palestinian state, Israel does not want the details of this heinous crime leaking into the media .Might make the so called light unto the nations and eternal victim claims seem a bit thin.

    By the way, did anyone bulldoze their families homes yet.That,s the law there, right.

  2. amigo
    October 20, 2014, 5:20 pm

    Anyone notice a resemblance to Charlie Manson.Look at the evil in that killers eyes.

    He is not insane.He is just pure evil.May he never see the outside of a cell again.

  3. just
    October 20, 2014, 6:05 pm

    JERUSALEM — The Israeli eyeglass-shop owner accused of burning an Arab teenager alive last month led a “hunting expedition” to kill a Palestinian to avenge the murder of three Israeli yeshiva students, prosecutors say.

    Ben-David’s attorneys have suggested that their client is mentally ill. Israeli police reports say he was taking medication for obsessive-compulsive disorder. Court filings show he was arrested briefly in 2012 after he told his therapist that he thought about strangling his infant daughter.

    In a recent courtroom appearance, Ben-David proclaimed, “I am the messiah!” — an outburst that the families of his Arab victims fear was a calculated attempt to evade justice with an insanity defense.

    The crime has roiled the deeply conservative, ultra-Orthodox neighborhood of Har Nof, where the defendant’s father, a prominent rabbi named Saadiah Ben-David, raised 13 children and teaches classes in Jewish law at a yeshiva.”

    Monstrous monster.

  4. Citizen
    October 20, 2014, 6:16 pm

    Meanwhile, remember the Turkish-American boy who was murdered by the Zios on that boat to Gaza? Turns out Uncle Sam is not his uncle after all:

    What would it take for the American government to come to the aid of an American abused or murdered by Israel? Remember the USS Liberty crew? Rachel Corrie? The young lady artist who had her eye shot out? What did the US government do for any of those Americans? It actually worked against them, so now what?

  5. JLewisDickerson
    October 20, 2014, 6:37 pm

    RE: “Family of Mohammed Abu Khdeir continues to wait for justice as Israeli court again postpones trial for his killers”

    THAT REMINDS ME: I wonder how much progress Israel has made in the “thorough and transparent investigation” the US State Department said it expects Israel to make* into the videotaped shooting/murder by the Israeli military of the two Palestinian teenagers (Nadim Nuwwara and Mohammad Mahmoud Odeh Salameh) during the Nakba Day protests outside Ofer prison in the West Bank back on May 15 (more than six months ago).

    * SEE – “US to Israel: Investigate killing of Palestinian teens”, by Yitzhak Benhorin,, 5/21/14
    Following release of footage documenting killing of two Palestinians near Ramallah, US State Department spokesperson says US expects Israel to ‘conduct a thorough and transparent investigation’.
    LINK –,7340,L-4521979,00.html

    Beitunia killings –

    • Marnie
      October 21, 2014, 9:05 am

      “Following release of footage documenting killing of two Palestinians near Ramallah, US State Department spokesperson says US expects Israel to ‘conduct a thorough and transparent investigation’ ” she said, with a wink and a nod.
      I still hope that the US would finally do the right thing, but then realize that would be suicide as only God knows what kind of filth the israeli’s have on senators and presidents, and are betting everything they’ve got that the US will never go the way of UK or Spain. So they continue their ever downward spiral into hell and will take anyone who tries to stop them with them.

      • JLewisDickerson
        October 23, 2014, 2:41 am

        “Down, down, down we [the U.S.] go into the deep, dark abyss; hand in hand with Israel.”

  6. Horizontal
    October 20, 2014, 7:05 pm

    How can you tell if someone’s crazy in the land of the insane?

    • Kay24
      October 21, 2014, 4:41 pm

      Good question. It may be easier to identify the sane over there. It might be faster that way, because you get more lunatics in stolen lands.

  7. oldgeezer
    October 20, 2014, 9:46 pm

    He can claim he’s the messiah all he wants. Does anyone know the test under Israeli law? In most jursdictions the only real test is whether they are capable of being aware an act is wrong. The fact he didn’t start bragging about being the messiah when he did it seems to indicate he knew only too well.

  8. TwoRedDogs
    October 21, 2014, 1:03 am

    And just as you thought it couldn’t get worse.

    “In his post, published three weeks ago, Prof. Hillel Weiss addressed Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas (using his nickname, Abu Mazen). “Listen, Abu Mazen, you aren’t a people and therefore there’s no genocide,” Weiss wrote. “To annihilate you as a rabble is a mitzvah, and it will ultimately be carried out, even though the Israeli government still doesn’t recognize its own guilt for kindling your fraudulent national recognition, starting from [former Prime Minister Menachem] Begin and ending with [Meretz party leader Zahava] Gal-On, and for everything it has contributed to the deception of the entire world and the flourishing of all the monsters that arose because of its weakness and lack of faith. The faster you admit that you aren’t a people and don’t belong anywhere within the boundaries of the Land of Israel, the better it will be for you – the faster you voluntarily vacate this land.””

  9. Kay24
    October 21, 2014, 4:39 pm

    Israel’s chosen crazies, always get away with murder. Either they are found to be unstable and not fit to stand trial, or they are treated well (unlike the Palestinian kids suffering in jails for minor offenses), and get off with light sentences. It is becoming more obvious from videos and reports of violent crimes against Palestinians, Mosques being attack, vandalized and even burned, homes attacked with racist graffiti, and the long list of crimes, that these illegal settlers have an insane gene in them. They are armed and dangerous.

  10. Nevada Ned
    Nevada Ned
    October 22, 2014, 10:12 am

    “Israel’s chosen crazies” ???

    The high officials and military figures of Israel (Menachem Begin, Ariel Sharon, etc.) did a lot more damage than these individual terrorists had the power to do.

    Israel’s generals and politicians are Israel’s real chosen crazies.

    Recall that Begin was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize (!!). Now THAT really is crazy.

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