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Amnesty International to IDF: Rescind Death Penalty Request for Itamar Killers

The Israeli army is said to be seeking the death penalty for Hakim Awad and Amjad Awad, the two confessed murderers of five members of the Fogel family in the settlement of Itamar last March. This is an extremely unusual step in Israel: the death penalty has been sought very few times over the country’s history, handed down even fewer, and is almost invariably commuted. The sole exception was Adolf Eichmann, who was executed in Israel in 1962.

Amnesty International is demanding that the IDF rescind the request. In a statement issued today, it said, “The murder of the Fogel family was a heinous crime, but exaction is a punishment that has no place in today’s criminal justice system…Since the 1960s not one person was executed in Israel, and as of the 1990s the IDF has ceased its demands to sentence even terrorists responsible for the killing of many to death. Amnesty International has appealed [to] the IDF to stay the course with its current policy and to avoid using its authority to make such a demand.”