The Supreme Court, a highest judicial body, on Saturday upheld death sentence on Muslim man who shot dead a Jewish fellow citizen, Mashaa Yehiya bin Yaeesh Al-Nahari and overturned a previous sentence in March in which the court deemed Abdul-Aziz Al-Abdi, to pay a fine of 5.5 million riyals.
Al-Nahari, Hebrew teacher in one of Raydah's two Jewish schools, asked to be left alone but Al-Abdi then opened fire with a submachine gun until he was riddled with bullets, the father said in statement.
Al-Abdi, mentally unstable, is alleged to have murdered his wife two years before he killed Al-Nahari, but was not jailed because he agreed to pay compensation to the wife’s family, an Al-Abdi's tribal affiliate told local media.
Ahmed Al-Sarihi, a security official was quoted as saying Al-Abdi was a religious extremist that suffered from mental problems and that during questioning he admitted killing Al-Nahari and telling police that “these Jews must convert to Islam.” "Al-Abdi met Al-Nahari and told him “Jew, accept Islam’s message” and then shot him five times with an AK-47 assault rifle," he said.
He also said that Al-Abdi, a retired pilot in the Yemeni air force, showed no remorse for his actions and repeatedly interrupted the prosecutor during the hearing to renew his confession, adding that Al-Abdi has repeatedly said he carried out the murder after warning Yemeni Jews that he would kill them unless they converted to Islam.
Yemeni Jews enjoy special protection from Yemen's President Ali Abdullah Salah but covert exoduses out of Yemen continue as a result of occasional violent attacks against them by some radicals.
Since 1949 about 50,000 members of the once-thriving Yemeni Jewish community are reported to have been secretly airlifted to Israel.