Father of Palestinian teen burned alive: Demolish homes of his Jewish killers

Marcy Oster

JERUSALEM (JTA) — Israeli prosecutors called for life sentences for two Jewish men convicted of burning a Palestinian teen alive, while the teen’s father called for their homes to be destroyed.

The father of Mohammed Abu Khdeir reportedly asked during a closed sentencing hearing in Jerusalem District Court on Wednesday that the court destroy their homes as they would for a Palestinian terrorist.

“Demolish their houses, just as happens with Arabs,” Hussein Abu Khdeir said. “There should be equal penalties.”

The hearing was closed because the two men, who were found guilty in November, were minors at the time of the crime. The court is due to hand down a decision in February.

“If their houses had been demolished, the Dawabsheh family wouldn’t have been burned,” Hussein Khdeir told the court, Haaretz reported, referring to the firebombing of a Palestinian family’s home in the West Bank village of Duma that killed 18-month-old baby and his parents. “Light sentences encourage them to carry out further similar deeds.”

Yosef Haim Ben-David, 31, who was said to have led the attack, was found guilty of murder, but a verdict has been delayed pending a decision on his last-minute submission of an insanity plea.

Mohammed Khdeir was beaten unconscious before he was burned to death in the Jerusalem Forest on July 2, 2014, to avenge the kidnapping and murder of three Israeli teens the previous month.

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