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Palestinian convicted of murder in rock-throwing attack

JERUSALEM (JTA) — An Israeli military court convicted a Palestinian security officer of the murder of an Israeli man and his infant son in a rock-throwing incident.

Waal al-Araja was convicted Tuesday of throwing stones from a moving car toward a car driven by Asher Palmer, 25, near Kiryat Arba in the West Bank. Palmer, a dual Israeli-American citizen, and his infant son Yonatan were killed in the September 2011 incident.

Palmer’s car overturned after a rock crashed through the windshield. Police originally called the crash on Route 60 an accident, but later found a large bloodstained rock in the car and deemed it a terror attack.

Al-Araja admitted during the trial that he threw the rocks, but said he did not intend to kill anyone, Ynet reported. 

In their verdict, the judges of the Ofer Base Military Court said that Al-Araja understood the harm that throwing rocks could cause and that he intended to harm his victims. They also said that al-Araja’s accomplices called the rock throwing jihad, or  holy war, and said it was in retaliation for arson attacks on West Bank mosques, according to Ynet. 

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