Ron Kokia
Ron KokiaCourtesy of the family

The Be'er Sheva District Court on Tuesday convicted a resident of the Negev, Khaled Abu Jada, of the murder of the Nahal Brigade soldier Ron Kokia in Arad.

His father, Boaz, said after the decision, "We heard the sought-after decision of the court, we will demand the appropriate punishment for a terrorist murderer, which is the death penalty."

According to the indictment, Abu Jada and his half-brother Zahi sought for a period of time to harm soldiers and even held observations in the Arad area in order to find targets for attack.

The indictment, submitted more than a year ago, shows that Abu Jada watched Hamas videos and was influenced by the organization's activities, and even published posts on Facebook praising Allah and Islam.

With time, he decided to carry out an attack against IDF soldiers. He purchased a vehicle that would be used to escape after the attack, as he initially planned to kidnap a soldier using anesthetics, which he had access to as an anesthestic technician at Soroka Medical Center in Be'er Sheva.

At some point, Abu Jada decided that abducting a soldier who was too complicated and shared with his brother Zahi his intention of carrying out an attack.

The two went on patrol to find a victim and decided to stab an armed soldier at night in order to steal his weapon. The brothers focused on the soldiers of the Tel Arad base and decided to call the weapon they would hijack by the code word "pizza".

Even before the murder, the two noticed many soldiers walking alone on their patrols, but they were unarmed. On two occasions they reached the base area itself, and equipped themselves with coffee and food to create an impression that they were hiking around the area. In these cases, they did not notice individual soldiers, only groups of soldiers, and therefore did not carry out their plans.

On the evening of the attack, in November 2017, while driving around the city, Khaled spotted soldier Ron Kokia armed, stabbing him several times in the neck and head while trying to snatch his weapon. Kokia fought back, but Khaled eventually managed to get control of the weapon, and fled to Kuseife.

Immediately after the murder, Khaled met his brother Zahi and the two hid the soldier's weapon. Less than a day later, in a joint activity of the Shin Bet and Israel Police, the two were arrested and interrogated.

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