The Israeli Central Court of Jerusalem decided, on Wednesday, not to hold three young suspects accused of killing 16-year-old Muhammad Abu Khudeir this past month, according to the PNN.The boy was kidnapped near his East Jerusalem home, in early July, by a group of Israeli settlers who brutally tortured and later burned him alive.
On July 27, the suspects were brought in for arraignment. In a statement, Shin Bet said that all suspects had confessed to the murder, apparently having decided to kill an Arab and equipping themselves with cable ties, petrol and other materials and, then, randomly choosing Abu Khdeir as their victim.
The day prior, according to Ma’an, the suspects had attempted to kidnap an 8-year-old child in another part of the city, but were fended off by the child’s mother.
According to Israeli media, the prime suspect, 29-year-old Yoseph Ben David, would basing his defense on a case of mental instability, as he had undergone psychiatric treatment in the past, in connection with another incident in which he attempted to strangle his own infant daughter.
Ben David, when appearing for the arraignment, was reported to say at the entrance hall: ‘I am the messiah.’
The three youth who took part in the killing are now to be released.
According to their lawyer, it could take more than year and a half for trial proceedings to end, adding that they were too young to stay in jail for that long.
Chris Carlson is a student of religion at Mount Mercy University, United States, and has been a regular volunteer with the IMEMC since 2013. He assisted in providing extensive coverage of the 2014 Israeli military offensive on the Gaza Strip and continues, into the present day, with the issues at hand. He can be reached via email at c h r i s @ i m e m c . o r g.