So what’s new?
The trial of three Palestinian Authority (PA) Arabs charged with the sadistic murder of a Christian tourist and the attempted murder of her Israeli friend began Sunday in the Jerusalem District Court…
The attack took place December 18 at Khirbet Hanut in the Mata Forest, near Beit Shmesh, where Kaye Wilson, a dual Israeli-British citizen, and a visiting friend, Kristine Luken, had gone on a hike. Luken did not survive that day.
Wilson told the court Sunday of the horrific ordeal as the accused men sat in the defendants’ bench and looked on. Luken’s brother, Dean Luken, flew in from Texas to attend the hearing.
The attackers approached the women in the forest and tied them up. They later confessed to Israel Security Agency (Shin Bet) interrogators that they had come there with the intent of murdering Jews.
“I saw Kristine being murdered in front of my eyes,” said Wilson, describing how one of the killers gingerly removed her Star of David necklace and then stabbed her. She played dead in order to save her life, while Luken was dying. “She screamed. I did not want him to hurt me. I tried not to utter a sound. It was difficult because the pain was great but I tried to play dead. I heard Kristine uttering her last gasps. I was not sure if I was alive,” she told the court. — IsraelNN
A pity that the trial couldn’t be held in Texas, where the death penalty for murder is regularly carried out. If found guilty in Israeli court, the murderers will likely be sentenced to long, perhaps life, prison terms. Sounds good, except that they are likely to be released in a lopsided ‘prisoner exchange’, an operation to ‘bolster Abbas’ against Hamas, or just in a general amnesty when the state of ‘Palestine’ is declared.
Even one of the convicted killers of five members of the Fogel family, Hakim Awad, the one who did the stabbing, received only five life sentences.
Israel’s jails are full of Arab murderers of Jews. Murder is a political act, just like stealing Jewish cars or farm animals can be. There are literally hundreds of cases like this — innocent people shot, stabbed, burned, stoned or beaten to death (like Koby Mandell and Yosef Ishran, 13 and 14 years old, in 2001).
In March 2004, an Arab student named George Khoury was shot dead while walking in Jerusalem. The killers were members of Fatah’s al-Aqsa brigades who were looking for “Jewish settlers” to kill and mistook Khoury for a Jew. Yasser Arafat called the young man’s prominent father and personally apologized. The al-Aqsa Brigades issued a statement saying that they regretted the case of “mistaken identity” and that Khoury was a martyr for the cause. I doubt that there will be an apology to Luken’s family.
It is top priority for the government of the soon-to-be state of ‘Palestine’ to free all Palestinians in Israeli prisons, whom they consider political prisoners or at most prisoners of war:
The PA president said that recognition of statehood with pre-1967 borders is necessary for renewed negotiations with Israel. “We need to have full [UN] membership within [pre-1967] borders in order to go to negotiations on a basis adopted by the world so that we may discuss the permanent issues of Jerusalem, borders, refugees – and our prisoners in Israeli prisons.” — Mahmoud Abbas, September 16, 2011
One of the issues that has prevented a prisoner-exchange deal with Hamas for Gilad Shalit is the Hamas demand for the release of numerous murderers. Although ridiculously unfair “prisoner exchanges” have been the rule for the past few years — including one that released the vicious child murderer Samir Kuntar — apparently the demands this time were over the top, even for an Israeli government under tremendous pressure to get Shalit out of Hamas’ hands regardless of the price.
The judges in the case of Fogel murderer Hakim Awad considered sentencing him 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.” — JTA
I admit that I don’t understand this. There are plenty of Palestinian Arab ‘martyrs’ to serve as inspiration for more. The PA constantly names streets, schools, camps and playgrounds after them to make sure that they do inspire others, especially young people. One more wouldn’t hurt.