Udi, Ruth and Elad Fogel
Udi, Ruth and Elad Fogel Israel news photo montage

A Palestinian Authority teenager who took part in the brutal murder of five members of the Fogel family was all smiles Tuesday as he faced a court hearing in his case. The teen, Amjad Awad, is charged with multiple counts of murder.

Amjad refused to speak to the media, but continued smiling through journalists' questions.

His father praised Amjad as a good student, and said that despite his son's confession he still doubts that Amjad and his relative Hakem are the real killers. Hakem has already been convicted; the verdict in Amjad's case will be handed down in September.

Amjad's attorney declined to share his name, out of concern that he could be targeted due to public outrage over his client's crimes.

Hakem and Amjad Awad admitted to entering the Fogel family home in Itamar in March and stabbing to death Rabbi Ehud (Udi) Fogel, his wife Ruth, and their children Yoav, 11, Elad, 4, and Hadas, three months. The two expressed regret that they had not murdered another two children, who were in the house at the time of the attack but went unnoticed. A third surviving child, 12-year-old Tamar, was out of the house during the attack.

Despite calls to apply the death penalty in the horrific case, the two killers are very unlikely to receive a death sentence – a penalty reserved in Israel for Nazi killers.

Israeli leaders have linked the deaths to ongoing Palestinian Authority incitement. The PA often incites its population to terrorism, and even young children are taught to seek death in order to fight Israel.

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