Palestinians Charged With Killing West Bank Man, Baby to Avenge 'Price Tag' Attack

Residents of West Bank town of Halhul indicted of throwing rocks at vehicle passing near Kiryat Arba, causing the deaths of Asher Palmer, 25, and his infant son Yonatan.

Palestinians suspected in the killing of a West Bank resident and his infant son wished to avenge the '"price tag" torching of a nearby mosque, an indictment submitted to an Israel Defense Forces court said on Tuesday.

In September, Israel Police confirmed that a road accident that killed Asher, who was 25-years-old and his one-year-old son Yonatan Palmer near Kiryat Arba, may have occurred after a rock was thrown at their vehicle.

attack in which Asher and Yonatan Palme - Tomer Appelbaum - 07102011
Tomer Appelbaum

Police investigating the death of the two, who were found in their car after it flipped over near the West Bank city, discovered a large rock with signs of blood on it.

An indictment submitted to the Judea military court on Tuesday, claimed that the defendants charged with the Palmers' killing, Mahmoud Muhammad Albai, Waal al-Araja, Ali Saada, and Mohmmad Khalil Albo, intended to kill Jews in retribution for the torching of the Qusra mosque earlier that month.

The West Bank mosque was set on fire as part of a "price tag" attack, perpetrated just hours after Israeli police officers destroyed three illegal structures in the settlement outpost of Migron.

According to the indictment, al-Araja and Saada met on the day of the killing, following Friday prayers, and proceeded to advance to route 60 in the West Bank in a taxi owned by al-Araja, and which facilitated their rock throwing activities, even before the Palmer killing.

The defendants then allegedly collected three palm-sized rocks and hurled them first at one car, than at an approaching bus, and finally at the Palmers' vehicle. The rock shattered the Palmers' windshield and hit Asher Palmer in the face, causing the car to overturn.

After the two saw they had hit the car, al-Araja allegedly said that "any man who murders a Jew won't meet him in hell," at which point both men went back to their homes in the West Bank town of Halhul and observed as emergency forces arrived at the scene.

Al-Araja and Saada were indicted with two counts of pre-determined killing, with the other defendants charged with attempted murder as a result of their participation in the squad's actions. Their trial is due to start on Sunday.