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For Itamar Murders, Man Gets Five Life Sentences

An Israel Defense Forces court sentenced a Palestinian man to five life sentences on Monday, after he was convicted of murdering five members of the Fogel family in the West Bank settlement of Itamar in 2011.

Amjad Awad, a 19-year-old student, carried out the crime with his cousin, Hakim Awad, who was already sentenced to five consecutive life sentences in October 2011. Itamar murder suspects and crime scene

The suspects in the murder of the Fogel family in Itamar, Amjad Awad and Hakim Awad, with the crime scene in the background.

The judges’ panel contemplated whether to give Awad the death penalty, saying the youth “doesn’t have a fragment of regret in his heart.” However, ultimately the judges said that despite the horrid acts he carried out, they decided not to sentence him to a harsher punishment than the one the military prosecution had requested.

The Fogel family members were brutally stabbed to death in their home in the West Bank settlement of Itamar on the night of March 11, 2011. The murderers killed Ehud and Ruth Fogel, along with three of their young children, Yoav, 11, Elad, 4, and Hadas, 3 months old, before fleeing the scene.

Both Amjad and Hakim Awad confessed to the murder, and the military prosecution in the case said there is forensic evidence linking them to the scene of the crime, including DNA samples and fingerprints.

While the cousins, and many of their family members, were linked to the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, investigators found no evidence indicating that the attack was directed by the PFLP, leading security officials to conclude that they planned the assault alone.

A probe into the attack led officials to believe that the two decided on it mere hours before executing their plan.

For more, go to haaretz.com

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