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Life sentence for US tourist's Palestinian killer

November 24, 2011
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JERUSALEM—An Israeli court has sentenced a Palestinian man to life in prison in the stabbing death of an American woman last December in a forest near Jerusalem.

Kristine Luken, 44, was hiking with a friend, Kaye Wilson, who lives in Israel. Prosecutors say Luken's assailants thought the Christian missionary was Jewish.

The court said in its ruling against against West Bank resident Kifah Ghneimat on Thursday that its words could not express the "wickedness and cruelty of the accused." He was one of three suspects indicted both in this case and in a string of other crimes, including a second murder.

Wilson was also stabbed but played dead to elude her assailants. She says Luken's parents, who live in Texas, attended the sentencing and wept after it was handed down.

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