West Bank Arab Gets Life Sentence for Killing His Jewish Co-worker

A young West Bank Palestinian who had been a watchman at a Tel Aviv construction site was sentenced to life imprisonment plus 20 years Wednesday for the calculated murder of a Jewish fellow watchman on Sept. 7.

In pronouncing the sentence, the Tel Aviv District Court said Ahmed Mohammed Shukri, 20, of Ramallah deserved the death penalty. Capital punishment is not legal in Israel.

Shukri confessed last month to slaying his co-worker, Michael Ashtrumer, 38, a divorced father of three children, for no other reason than that he was a Jew.

The case has an unusual twist inasmuch as Shukri admitted the murder before his victim’s death was discovered.

He made the confession while under questioning for another crime, the stabbing of an Egged bus driver on the night of Sept. 9, while the vehicle was en route from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. The driver, Shlomo Assov, suffered stomach wounds but recovered.

It had been Shukri’s intention to wreck the bus by forcing it off the road. But he was over-come by fellow passengers who held him for the police.

After confessing, Shukri led police to the construction site on the Tel Aviv beachfront where he had concealed Ashtrumer’s body in a pipe. The victim, who was known to drop out of sight on occasion, had not even been reported missing.

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