Itamar Ben-Gal
Itamar Ben-Gal Yitzhak Melamed

The Lod District Court in central Israel handed down a life sentence Sunday to the terrorist responsible for murdering a rabbi in a stabbing attack in Samaria last year.

Abdel Hakim Bin Adael Assi was convicted in July of murdering Rabbi Itamar Ben-Gal, a 29-year-old father of four, in a stabbing attack in the city of Ariel in Samaria last year.

In addition to the life sentence handed down to the terrorist, the Lod District Court also ordered that he pay the Ben-Gal family 258,000 shekels ($74,320).

During a hearing Sunday afternoon ahead of the sentencing, an attorney representing the terrorist called on the court to give his client a lenient sentence, but was cut off by his client, who declared to the court that he had intentionally murdered Rabbi Ben-Gal, claiming that he had done so because Israel had ‘murdered woman and children’.

Attorney Haim Bleicher, who works for the Honenu organization and represents the Ben-Gal family, submitted to the judges a letter from Rabbi Ben-Gal’s parents.

The letter called on the court to give the maximum punishment possible, and to ensure that the terrorist never be released in any possible trade deal.

Rabbi Ben-Gal was stabbed to death at the entrance to the city of Ariel, while on his way to Har Bracha, his hometown. Ben Gal was a teacher and educator at the Bnei Akiva Yeshiva in Givat Shmuel and at the Har Bracha yeshiva.

He was survived by his wife and four children.