A military court gave two Palestinians life sentences for the West Bank murder of Israeli soldier Dvir Sorek in 2019, in what was described by the tribunal in its Thursday verdict as a premeditated stabbing attack by the two Hamas-affiliated assailants.

Kassem Asafra was handed a life sentence plus 40 years, and his cousin, Nseir Asafra, life plus 20. They were also ordered to pay 1.5 million shekels (about $480,000) in compensation to Sorek’s family.

Dvir Sorek

According to the verdict, Kassem recruited Nseir to a Hamas military cell, and then planned a stabbing attack together, which they eventually carried out on August 7 of that year.

After the two spotted 19-year-old Sorek, who was in civilian clothes at the time, near the entrance to Migdal Oz, in the Gush Etzion block of settlements.

Nseir Asafra sentenced to life for the murder of Dvir Sorek on Thursday.
Emil Salman

Nseir attacked him with a taser and stabbed him several times in the upper body, after which the two fled the scene. They were apprehended two days after the attack.

Sorek, a resident of the settlement of Ofra, had drafted into an army yeshiva program shortly before his murder. Forces began searching for him after he was reported missing by his yeshiva, and his body was found on the following day.

The cousins were also convicted for a failed attempt at a stabbing attack in late June 2019. They were caught by Israeli forces before being able to carry out their plan.

Kassem was given additional 20 years for attempted manslaughter over a 2011 stabbing in Be’er Sheva, in Israel’s south.

The Asafras’ family home in Beit Kahil, near Hebron, was demolished by the Israeli military in November 2019, after the High Court of Justice rejected the family’s appeal against the demolition order.

Hagar Shezaf

www.haaretz.com

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