Israeli Man Convicted of Palestinian Murder That Triggered 2014 War

YERUSHALAYIM (Reuters) -

An Israeli man was convicted on Tuesday of murdering a Palestinian teenager in Yerushalayim, as a court rejected his insanity plea for a crime that helped trigger the 2014 Gaza war.

Prosecutors said the man organized the killing of 16-year-old Mohammed Abu Khdeir. Two youths who helped him abduct the teen were sentenced in February, one to life imprisonment and the other to a 21-year term.

All three defendants had confessed, and said the July 2, 2014, murder was revenge for the killing days earlier of the three Israeli teenagers, Gilad Shaer, Naftali Frenkel and Eyal Yifrach, Hy”d, by the Hamas terrorist group.

The 30-year-old man lodged an insanity plea that held up his formal conviction and sentencing. After receiving psychological assessments, the court ruled he “fully understood his actions” and found him guilty. He will be sentenced on May 3.

Abu Khdeir’s killing raised tensions between the Palestinians and Israel, and a seven-week Israeli operation against the Hamas-run Gaza Strip began, after many cross-border Palestinian rocket attacks.