Asher Weisgan, a resident of Shiloh in the West Bank who was sentences for four consecutive life sentences for murdering four Palestinian workers in Shilo in order to stop the disengagement from Gaza, has taken his own life at the Ayalon prison using his tefillin to hang himself.
Weisgan was kept in the religious section of the prison, but asked to be transferred to another cell where he committed suicide Friday afternoon. Police have launched an investigation into the incident.
Right-wing activist Itamar Ben-Gvir said in response to the incident: "The court is guilty and the judges ignored claims by Weisgan's lawyers that he is not fit to stand trial. If he was a terrorist, he would have been released. We will remember Asher Weisgan as someone who tried to prevent Jews from being evicted from Gush Katif and who attempted to prevent the tragedy."
The National Union-NRP faction demanded police conduct a full probe into the circumstances surrounding the suicide.
"The Prisons Authority should clear all question marks surrounding this incident," a party spokesperson said.
Weisgan – a resident of the Shvut Rachel settlement in the West Bank and father of two – claimed that he carried out this heinous act in a bid to stop the disengagement and with the thought that his actions would encourage others to follow suit.
Shot Palestinians at close range
On September 11, 2006, three judges, headed by Justice Moshe Ravid, convicted Weisgan on four counts of murder and attempted murder, sabotage and wounding under severe circumstances.
On August 18, 2005, at 4:45 p.m., as he was driving the four Palestinians out of Shilo, Weisgan stopped at the entrance gate to the settlement, stepped out of the car and approached the security guard’s booth; the guard was under the assumption that Weisgan came to collect the Palestinians’ identification cards, which they deposited there at the start of each workday. Weisgan then asked for water and snatched the guard’s loaded M-16 rifle.
He then approached the vehicle and fired 5-6 bullets at each passenger from close range and began to run back to the factory with the intent of killing another Arab worker.
One of the injured Palestinians chased after Weisgan while shouting “Asher, what are you doing?” Weisgan turned around and fired a few more bullets at the Palestinian but missed.
The settler eventually made his way to the factory and opened fire at the remaining Palestinian worker from short range. At this stage Weisgan ran out of bullets, replaced the magazine and shot the injured Palestinian in the head and chest.
A few minutes later Weisgan came running out of the factory and turned himself in to a security officer who arrived at the scene.