JERUSALEM (May. 21)
Four Palestinian Arabs were sentenced to life imprisonment by a military court in Nablus today and four others received sentences of 10-25 years for the stabbing murder of yeshiva student Aharon Gross in the Hebron marketplace last July 7.
The men, all in their early 20’s, were described as fanatical Moslems who want to impose Islamic rule over Palestine and oust the Jews. They expressed no remorse over the killing which they saw as part of a Jihad–holy war — a tenet of the Moslem faith. During the trial, defense lawyers charged that the presence of Jewish settlers in Hebron had created an atmosphere conducive to the emergence of such extremist groups.
Gross was fatally stabbed while waiting for friends at the marketplace. His assailants seized the gun he was carrying and escaped in a car. The youth lay in the street unattended until he was mis-identified as an Arab and taken to a local Arab hospital where he was pronounced dead. His body was subsequently claimed by Jewish authorities. Jewish settlers later burned down the marketplace is reprisal.