Two Palestinians charged with murder of Israeli man

29 Oct 2017 / 22:04 H.

JERUSALEM: Israeli prosecutors filed charges on Sunday against two Palestinians suspected of murdering their Jewish employer this month in what authorities have labelled a "terror attack", the justice ministry said.
According to the indictment, Yousef Kamil, 20, and Mohammed Abu Elrob, 19, both of Qabatiya in the occupied West Bank, murdered Reuven Schmerling in a premeditated attack at their workplace in the Arab Israeli city of Kafr Qasem on Oct 4.
Schmerling, 70 and who lived in the nearby Israeli settlement of Elkana in the West Bank, was stabbed and beaten to death by the two in his coal warehouse, prosecutors say.
According to the charges, the two had decided to "carry out an attack for nationalistic reasons and cause the death of Jews".
They were seeking revenge over the death of a friend in 2015, who was shot dead while attempting an attack, prosecutors said.
They were also motivated by "the events on the Temple Mount", the Jewish name for the Al-Aqsa mosque compound, the Shin Bet domestic security agency said.
The flashpoint holy site in annexed east Jerusalem was the scene of heightened tensions in July after three Arab Israelis shot dead two policemen nearby.
The attack prompted Israel to install new security measures at the entrance to the holy site, leading to deadly unrest. The security measures were later removed.
Palestinians viewed the new security measures as Israel asserting further control over the site.
The suspects decided that Schmerling would be their victim because of "anger towards him stemming from their work relations", the indictment read.
After stabbing Schmerling and beating him to death with a fan and a pickaxe in his warehouse, Kamil and Abu Elrob showered and took a taxi back to Qabatiya, the charge sheet read.
A wave of unrest that erupted in October 2015 has claimed the lives of at least 295 Palestinians or Arab Israelis, 51 Israelis, two Americans, two Jordanians, an Eritrean, a Sudanese and a Briton, according to an AFP toll.
However, the violence has largely subsided in recent months.
Israeli authorities say most of the Palestinians killed were carrying out knife, gun or car-ramming attacks.
Others were shot dead in protests and clashes, while some were killed in Israeli air strikes on the Gaza Strip. — AFP

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