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      Second Murderer Convicted in Palmer Killings

      Yonatan Palmer and his father, Asher, were murdered with a rock in September 2011.
      By Gil Ronen
      First Publish: 12/31/2013, 6:16 PM

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

      The military court in Judea and Samaria on Tuesday convicted Ali Saada, of the Hevron area, in the murder of Asher Palmer, 25, and his baby son Yonatan, in September of 2011.

      Saada's conviction joins that of another participant in the murders, Wael al-Arjeh, who was sentenced to two life sentences and 58 additional years in jail last July.

      Arjeh's conviction was a legal precedent, in that it was the first time a military court has handed a verdict of murder for rock-throwing.

      Saada and Arjeh were both members of a group of terrorists who hurled a large rock at the car Asher Palmer was driving, near Hevron. It hit him in the face, and he lost control of the car, possibly after losing consciousness.

      The resulting crash killed him and baby Yonatan, who was two days shy of his first birthday.

      Asher had been on his way to pick up his pregnant wife, Pua, from her job in Jerusalem. Pua gave birth to a baby girl five months after the murders, and named her daughter Orit, meaning “light.”

      The trial was attended by United States representatives due to the fact that Asher had U.S. citizenship.

      The terrorists who murdered the Palmers had rehearsed the method of attack before carrying out the murder. They threw the rock from a vehicle that sped past Palmer's car in the opposite direction. The rock thus struck the windshield of Palmer's car at a very high velocity, leaving him no chance.

      It took a while for authorities to determine that Asher and Yonatan Palmer were, indeed, victims of a terror attack. In initial reporting of the deaths, authorities treated the event as an accident. Nationalist MKs accused the police of a cover-up at the time. Then-MK Yaakov Katz doubted the police's initial version from the outset and estimated that it was designed to prevent unrest.