Israeli Border Police at the home of the terrorists, making the arrest [Photo Source: Israel Border Police]
The Southern District Attorney’s Office on Sunday filed indictments with the Be’er Sheva District Court against Khaled Abu Jouda and his half-brother, Zahi, both 22, for the murder of Sergeant Ron Kokia in Arad in late November, Haaretz reported. The indictments against Khaled included premeditated murder, attempted murder, possession of a knife, preparation for carrying out an act of terror, and the use of weapons for terrorist purposes. Zahi is accused of attempted murder, possession of a knife, obstruction of justice, assistance after the fact, and dismissal in interrogation.
The report found that Khaled, who was inspired by the terrorist group Hamas, planned to anesthetize a soldier, abduct his weapon and carry out a large shooting attack. He shared his plans with his half-brother Zahi. When the attack happened, the plan was altered and Khaled stabbed Kokia to death and then fled with his half-brother. Weapons they had obtained during the stabbing, including the knife used in the attack, were stored at the terrorists’ residence.
According to the indictment, Khaled was educated in medical engineering and worked as an intern in the operating rooms at Soroka Medical Center in Be’er Sheva. Over the past year, he had been influenced by Hamas propaganda videos, and soon began publishing his own religiously fanatic messages on Facebook. One such post read, “G-d, save the land of the Muslims and make your enemies the enemies of our religion, at the beginning bring them down and give us victory over the infidels.”
As described in the indictment, under the influence of the videos, Khaled decided to “do something” for the Arabs living in Israel in order to express his support for Hamas and glorify his name. At some point, according to the indictment, Khaled shared his plans with Zahi. In conversations between them, Khaled said that he wanted to obtain weapons in order to carry out a “major attack” and asked if he knew arms dealers. Zahi replied that he did, but in the end, did not give him details of merchants.
On the evening of November 30, Khaled rode around in Arad, passing by the Arad’s central bus station, where he noticed armed soldiers getting off buses. Khaled began to follow them until he found Sgt. Ron Yitzhak Kokia, who was alone and armed. Khaled called Zahi, telling him in code that “there is a pizza” (ie. I found a weapon). After the conversation, Khaled got out of his car armed with a knife, stabbed the soldier a few times, grabbed his weapon, and fled leaving Kokia injured at the scene.
Khaled then called Zahi againg and gave him another code word to signal what had just transpired. Zahi realized that Khaled had obtained more weapons and ordered him to go home. Khaled came and showed the gun and the bloody knife to Zahi. The two dug a hole in their courtyard, wrapped the evidence in a cloth, and buried it in the pit. Later that evening, the two went out to eat pizza together in Arad, where they agreed that if they were stopped and interrogated they would deny their involvement and claim that they were in the pizzeria at the time of the murder.
Boaz Kokia, the father of the slain soldier called upon the prosecuting judge to give the terrorists a death sentence or at least to hand them a very long imprisonment sentence. He stressed that a strict punishment needed to be given to the murderers “in order to deter criminals and other potential murderers.” He said, “punishment must be comprehensive” and include “denial of rights and language to the state for the expenses it incurred as a result of the murder.”