An Israeli court handed a Jewish settler three life sentences on Monday for murdering a Palestinian toddler and his parents in an arson attack on their home in the occupied West Bank.
Amiram Ben-Uliel, 25, was sentenced by the Lod court following his conviction in May for the 2015 killings. He was also found guilty of two counts each of attempted murder and arson, along with conspiracy to commit a hate crime.
The arson attack killed 18-month-old Ali Dawabsheh. His mother, Riham, and father, Saad, later died of their wounds. Ali’s four-year-old brother Ahmad survived with burns on his body.
The court said Ben-Uliel’s “actions were meticulously planned, and stemmed from the radical ideology he held and racism”. It said the punishment was “close to the maximum penalty prescribed by the law”.
The toddler’s grandfather, in court for the sentencing, told journalists the ruling brought him “no joy”.
It will “not bring back my family,” said Hussein Dawabsheh. “What will the court’s decision give me? What will it give to Ahmad? It won’t return anything to him.”
Ben-Uliel will spend a minimum of 15 years behind bars with the sentence backdated to his arrest in 2015. The court also ordered him to pay nearly one million shekels ($290,000) in compensation.
The settler refused to testify at his trial and his lawyer sought to disqualify a confession and other prosecution evidence, which he said Shin Bet security service interrogators had extracted by force.