British couple's attacker hopes for parole

An Israeli paratrooper convicted of killing a British tourist and wounding his girlfriend has been approved for parole after serving two-thirds of his 20-year sentence.

Daniel Okev had picked up student hitchhikers Max Hunter, from Banstead, Surrey and Charlotte Gibb, from Deeping St James, Lincolnshire, in August 1997 near the Red Sea resort of Eilat.

After pulling up at a roadside rest stop, he pulled out a pistol and fired at the pair.

Miss Gibb, 20 at the time, afterwards told how she played dead after seeing 22-year-old Mr Hunter killed.

An Israeli parole committee today approved Okev’s early release. The attorney-general’s office has a week to decide whether to concur or challenge the decision.

At his trial, Okev had said that he had been traumatised by his service in an army hit squad. The judges ruled that he suffered from “diminished mental capacity” and thus bore diminished responsibility for his crime.

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