Israel Sentences Jewish Extremist to 3 Life Terms


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JERUSALEM - In Israel, a Jewish extremist who was convicted of three counts of murder for throwing a firebomb that killed three members of a Palestinian family has been sentenced to three life terms in prison.

It is rare that convicted Jewish extremists receive such a long sentence, but the judges - in their ruling - said that 26-year-old Amiram Ben Uliel acted out of racist ideology.

Ben Uliel has never expressed remorse. Dressed in a white shirt and wearing a large white skullcap, he was sentenced to three life sentences in prison.

The firebomb attack five years ago in the West Bank village of Duma was one of the most brutal Jewish terror attacks in recent years and contributed to a wave of Israeli-Palestinian tension. Israeli politicians, however, condemned the attack, which claimed the lives of Saad and Riham Dawabshe and their 18-month-old son, Ali. Only one person survived - a five-year-old named Ahmed.

Ahmed's grandfather Hussein, who is rearing the boy, said the verdict will not bring back the dead.

He said the court's decision will not return anything to Ahmed. The grandfather said he just does not want another child to go through the trauma that the boy experienced.

Ben Uliel had an accomplice who was a minor at the time. He will be sentenced in the coming days.

Ayman Odeh, an Israeli Arab member of the Knesset, or parliament, described the sentence as "partial justice for the murdered and for young [Ahmed], who survived that horrible night."

Ben Uliel's lawyer, Asher Ohayon, has alleged that his client was tortured while interrogated and that the verdict will be appealed to Israel's Supreme Court.

The lawyer called the verdict a legal mistake and says he hopes it will be changed.

Ben Uliel's supporters demonstrated outside the courtroom while the verdict was read.

Ben Uliel had previously confessed to the murder and demonstrated to the court how he carried it out.