A month and a half after the killing of IDF First Sgt. Amit Ben Yigal in an arrest operation in the West Bank, an indictment was filed in Israel's Military Court on Thursday against Nazmi Abu Bakr, who is accused of intentionally causing the soldier's death when he hurled a large block at his head from a nearby rooftop.
Baruch Ben Yigal, the soldier's father, said: "We are going to demand one punishment only for the terrorist and that is a life sentence, no less."
"He took your life and for that he will rot in jail," said Ben Yigal.
"It's a long road, but we have patience. We are a nation of laws, we act solely as the court dictates. I will accept the verdict and I'm sure the court will look me in the eye and know the story, what this man did. He will pay for this. I love you my 'boogie noogie', he will receive a life sentence."
During the Military Court hearing, Abu Bakr reportedly broke down, claiming he had never killed anyone deliberately.
According to his defense attorneys, the charge sheet that was supposed to be based on their client's confession bore no resemblance to the statement he gave.
The 49-year-old defendant was arrested earlier this month, after he was identified as one of the residents of the house in Yabed village from which the 21-year-old soldier was attacked.
The arrest was conducted jointly with the IDF and Israel Police, the Shin Bet said.
Ben Yigal and his comrades from a reconnaissance unit of the Golani Brigade were conducting the overnight arrest of four terror suspects in the village on May 11.
As the troops were leaving the village a large stone was hurled off the roof of one of the buildings, hitting Ben Yigal and injuring him critically.
The soldier was transferred to the Rambam Healthcare Campus in Haifa where he was pronounced dead.
The IDF, which had vowed to catch the killer, detained more than 10 residents from the building where the block was thrown.
Abu Bakr was one of those detained by Ben Yigal's Golani comrades, but denied involvement.
An investigation by the Shin Bet determined, however, that he had thrown the block from the roof of the building.
Ben Yigal, who was killed one month before the end of his service, was laid to rest in Be'er Yaakov cemetery.
Then-Defense Minister Naftali Bennett and senior IDF officials attended his funeral.