Suspect in Abu Khder murder lights fire in prison

Ringleader of gang who kidnapped and murdered Arab teen Mohammed Abu Khder lit fire inside Ayalon prison.

Arutz Sheva Staff,

Yosef Haim Ben David
Yosef Haim Ben David
Yonatan Sindel/Flash90

Yosef Haim Ben David, the suspected ringleader of the gang which kidnapped and murdered 16-year-old Mohammed Abu Khder, attempted to set fire to a room in the Ayalon prison, where he is currently being held.

According to Israel Radio, Ben David set fire to papers in a room in the prison on Monday. The fire was quickly extinguished, however, preventing damage to the building itself.

The apparent arson attempt is the latest in a history of erratic behavior by the suspect, who was arrested in 2012 for attempting to strangle his baby daughter.

Ben David was treated for psychiatric problems in the past, and was initially found to be mentally unfit to stand trial.

A later finding by a court psychiatrist rejected the initial opinion, and a Jerusalem district court ruled the alleged killer able to stand trial.

Under Ben David’s guidance, the gang, which included two minors, set fire to an Arab store in the village of Hizme near Jerusalem in revenge for the kidnapping and murder of three Israeli youths in 2014.

Following the arson, the three kidnapped Abu Khder. The victim was beaten unconscious, bound, and dragged out into the Jerusalem forest. The suspect then set Abu Khder on fire, killing him.