2 Palestinians indicted in Fogel family murders

Two Palestinian teenagers were indicted in the murders of five members of the Fogel family from the West Bank settlement of Itamar.

Amjad Awad, 19, who worked as a laborer in Israel, and Hakim Awad, 18, a high school student, were indicted June 5 in a West Bank military court for the murders of Udi Fogel, 36, Ruth Fogel, 35, and their children Yoav, 11, Elad, 4, and Hadas, 3 months.

The men reportedly confessed to the March 11 murders, and military prosecutors say there is forensic evidence linking them to the scene of the crime, including DNA samples and fingerprints, the Israeli daily Ha’aretz reported.

The men also were charged with stealing weapons, breaking and entering, and conspiracy to commit a crime, according to reports. They are residents of the West Bank town of Hawarta, located near Itamar, and have been connected to the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine.

“I’m proud of what I did,” Ynetnews.com quoted Amjad Awad as saying just minutes before the hearing. “I don’t regret what I did, even if it means I’m sentenced to death.”

Israel does not have the death penalty except for convictions for genocide, war crimes, crimes against humanity, crimes against the Jewish people and treason in wartime, though some politicians have called for the men to be sentenced to death if found guilty.

Three of the Fogel children survived the attack; two were sleeping in a side bedroom and were not discovered, and a daughter was out of the house at the time of the killings. — jta