Israel sentences Palestinian to life for triple murder

Jerusalem (AFP) - An Israeli military court on Thursday handed four life sentences to a Palestinian convicted of murdering three Israelis at a West Bank settlement during heightened tensions in July, the defence minister said.

"The despicable terrorist who murdered the Salomon family members in Neve Tsuf was handed four life sentences," Defence Minister Avigdor Lieberman said.

"No number of life sentences will suffice to punish this beast."

Omar al-Abed, 19 at the time of the murders, had been found guilty by the court at Ofer, near Ramallah in the occupied West Bank, of the premeditated killing of three members of the Solomon family in their home on July 21, 2017.

Abed had entered a house in the settlement of Neve Tzuf, also known as Halamish, and killed the three civilians -- Yossi Salomon, his son Elad and daughter Haya -- with a knife.

He seriously wounded Tova, Yossi's wife, before being shot by a neighbour, an off-duty soldier who had heard the victims' cries.

Abed was also found guilty of the attempted murder of seven people, all family members in the house at the time of the attack.

His father, mother, an uncle and two brothers were sentenced in August to jail terms of between one month and eight months for not preventing Abed's actions.

On August 16, the Israeli military demolished the Abed family home in the village of Kobar near Ramallah.

In a Facebook post before the attack, Abed expressed his resentment of Israeli actions against the Palestinians and in the Al-Aqsa mosque compound in annexed east Jerusalem.

The compound, the third holiest site for Muslims, is also revered by the Jews as the Temple Mount.

Abed's July 21 attack came at a time of high tensions over the sensitive compound.

Following a July 14 attack in which three Israeli Arabs killed two policemen after emerging from the compound, Israeli authorities installed metal detectors at its entrance, sparking widespread unrest.