Chief suspect in Palestinian teen’s murder says he can’t respond to charges


JERUSALEM (JTA) — The chief suspect in the murder of a Palestinian teenager said in court that his psychological condition prevents him from responding to the charges against him.

Yosef Haim Ben-David, 29, of the Adam settlement in the West Bank, made the statement Monday in Jerusalem District Court, according to the Times of Israel.

Ben-David, who owns an eyewear store in Jerusalem, was indicted in July for burning Mohammed Abu Khdeir to death in the Jerusalem forest with two accomplices, both minors, to avenge the kidnapping and murder of three Israeli teens in June.

According to the indictment, Ben-David has a history of mental illness, for which he is being medicated.

One of the minors said Monday that he was sitting in a waiting car during the incident. The other suspect said he took part in violence before the murder but did not intend to kill Khdeir.

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