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Daily Israel Report

U.S. Monitors at Trial of Asher and Yonatan Palmer's Murderer

Representatives from Department of Justice, State Department will be present at the June 3 hearing.
By Gil Ronen
First Publish: 5/30/2012, 6:39 PM

Asher and Yonatan Palmer
Asher and Yonatan Palmer
Courtesy of Palmer family

Representatives from the United States Department of Justice and State Department will be present at the Machane Ofer military court on Sunday, to monitor the trial of Waail el Arga, a resident of Halhoul near Hevron.

Michael Craig Palmer, who is Asher's father and Yonatan's grandfather, explained Wednesday that Asher was a U.S. citizen, and U.S. law requires that the U.S. pursue and prosecute those who kill or maim its citizens anywhere in the world, should a foreign government be unable or unwilling to do so.

At this point, Israel’s resolve to fully prosecute this case is not in question, he added.

The U.S. State Department sent monitors to the April 18 hearing, which also concerned El Arga. After that hearing, the U.S. Department of Justice also decided to monitor the proceedings.

El Arga, who was arrested by Israeli security forces in October, is charged with murdering Asher Hillel Palmer 24, and his infant son Yonatan, as they drove on Highway 60 near Kiryat Arba on Friday, September 23, 2011. They were on their way to meet Asher's pregnant wife.

El Arga and another Arab from Halhoul, Ali Ismail Sa’adah, are charged with intentional murder in the deaths of Asher and Yonatan. Israeli security forces also apprehended four co-conspirators who took part in training and preparations for the murder. A seventh man was convicted on March 13 of stealing Asher Palmer’s gun after the deadly attack.

Michael Craig Palmer asks that people who want to be present at the hearing Sunday morning and strengthen the family contact him at mcpfiveone@gmail.com .