JERUSALEM (JTA) — A Palestinian man was sentenced to five consecutive life sentences for the murder of five members of the Fogel family in a West Bank Jewish settlement.
Hakim Awad, 18, was sentenced Tuesday in a West Bank military court. He had admitted guilt in the March 11 murders in Itamar, which is near his home in the West Bank town of Hawarta, and refused to express regret. The judges called the attack "an atrocious, bone chilling and terrifying act."
Israel does not have a death penalty, though the judges said in their decision that they had deliberated on sentencing Awad to death.
"A case such as this tempts the use of such a punishment," the judges wrote in their decision. "The imprisoned criminal, whose life would be taken after being sentenced to death, might turn into a martyr, a shaheed in their terms, with all the meanings that are attached to it."
The five consecutive life sentences are equal to 130 years in prison.
Awad and his cousin, Amjad Awad, 19, murdered Udi Fogel, 36, and Ruth Fogel, 35, and their children, Yoav, 11; Elad, 4; and Hadas, 3 months, in a Shabbat eve attack on their home in the northern West Bank. Amjad Awad has been convicted of the murders and is awaiting sentencing.
Three of the Fogel children survived the attack: Two were sleeping in a side bedroom and were not discovered, and a daughter was out of the house at the time of the killings. She came home to discover the bodies.