Above: Yosef Haim Ben-David
The Washington Post reports on the alleged killers of 16-year-old Mohammed Abu Khdeir, whose kidnapping and murder early in the morning of July 2 sparked widespread social unrest in Arab communities and likely led to the Gaza War:
…The crime has roiled the deeply conservative, ultra-Orthodox neighborhood of Har Nof, where the defendant’s father, a prominent rabbi named Saadiah Ben-David, raised 13 children and teaches classes in Jewish law at a yeshiva.
“This is against our Holy Torah and against the law,” the father was quoted as telling the Israeli Ynet news agency.
[Alleged murderer Yosef Haim] Ben-David’s eyewear shop in Geula is in a dense, bustling commercial district in a religious neighborhood of Jerusalem. The store’s stock was recently cleared out and the business shuttered.
“He was a really good man. He was friends with everyone here,” said Yehuda Afgani, who works at a neighboring shop.
“I don’t care about the other guy,” Afgani said, referring to Ben-David’s teenage victim. “That’s what the stress of living here does to us.”…
Neighbors [in Adam] said they had seen little of Ben-David since he moved to their quiet cul-de-sac 18 months ago. His wife was pleasant but kept to herself, minding their toddler daughter, they said.
Ben-David commonly wore jeans and brightly colored shirts instead of the black and white suits of his ultra-Orthodox community.
A few days before the killing, he showed up two hours late to a Saturday religious service, with his two teenage nephews, according to Rabbi Gur Lavi. [Ben-David's two accomplices are both 16-year-olds, and at least one of them is a haredi yeshiva student.]
“They laughed and gave some excuse,” Lavi said. “This was not a serious man.”
The yeshiva of Ben-David’s father referred reporters to a family spokeswoman, who said Ben-David has had psychiatric issues since adolescence. She said Ben-David’s two accomplices, who were not named by authorities because they are minors, are his relatives.
“Everyone here was against it. There is no ideology here of killing non-Jews,” said an elderly Jewish scholar with a long white beard and tall black hat, sitting in a hushed room in a yeshiva filled with heavy books.…