REPORTING FROM RAMALLAH, WEST BANK –- An Israeli military court on Monday sentenced Amjad Awad, 19, to five consecutive life terms for the murders last March of the Fogel family in the West Bank settlement of Itamar.
The three-judge panel at the Salem military court in the north of the West Bank, which in November found Awad guilty of killing the Udi and Ruth Fogels and their three children in their apartment, had considered imposing a death sentence after the judges decided he was the main culprit in the killings.
His accomplice, Hakim Awad, 18, a distant cousin, was sentenced in September to five consecutive life terms as well, one for each of the victims, who included an infant.
The act horrified many people, including the Awads’ families, who still have doubts about the responsibility of the young men for the March 11 murders despite their confessions, guilty pleas and evidence found at the scene linking them to the crime.
The two were arrested a month after the killings and after the Israeli army took DNA samples from most of the males in Awarta, their village near Itamar.
-- Maher Abukhater
Photo: The body of one of five members of the Vogel family killed in the West Bank settlement of Itamar is carried from the family's apartment in March 2011. Credit: Ariel Schalit / Associated Press