Suspect in Fogel family murders is convicted


(JTA) — An Israeli military court convicted one of two Palestinians charged in the murder of five members of a West Bank Jewish family.

Hakim Awad, 18, of the northern West Bank town of Awarta, was convicted in a series of weapons-related and security offenses, as well as five cases of murder, after confessing to murdering five members of the Fogel family in the settlement of Itamar.

The other indicted suspect in the murders, Amjad Awad, 19, is being tried separately, as the two are testifying against each other.

During his trial, Hakim Awad described being beaten by relatives after they learned of the murders, and that he had threatened to return to Itamar to kill again.

Although Awad had confessed, Judge Lt.-Col. Menahem Lieberman had ruled for a full forensic investigation to rule out that Awad had, “ludicrous [as it] may sound — that a person will claim responsibility for an act he did not commit for the sake of ‘glory.’ ”

Sentencing arguments will be heard in September. The prosecution has indicated that it will not seek the death penalty.


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