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22-year-old Palestinian sentenced to 35 years for 'assisting' in Jerusalem attack

Dec. 28, 2016 12:24 P.M. (Updated: Dec. 29, 2016 12:09 P.M.)
BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) -- The Israeli Magistrate’s Court in Jerusalem sentenced 22-year-old Abd al-Aziz Hamad Marie to 35 years in prison for allegedly assisting in a deadly stabbing attack in occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City last year.

On Oct. 3, 2015, 19-year-old Mohannad Shafiq Halabi was shot dead after he stabbed to death two Israelis in Jerusalem's Old City. The act served to trigger a wave of unrest across the occupied territory and Israel, marked by similar small-scale attacks, which has since left 246 Palestinians killed by Israeli forces and settlers and 34 Israelis killed by Palestinians.

Israeli news site Ynet reported that the indictment against Marie alleged that he bought a knife for Halabi. Marie was also convicted of illegally entering Israel and being in possession of a knife.

Marie will also reportedly be required to pay 258,000 shekels (approximately $67,000) to each family member of the two Israelis killed by Halabi: Aharon Banita, 21, and Nehemia Lavi, 41. The report did not specify how many family members Marie would be required to pay.

Marie is from Qarawat Bani Hassan town of Salfit. Both Marie and Halabi were students at Al-Quds University in Abu Dis.

Marie’s prison sentence is the latest in an Israeli crackdown on young Palestinian who have been accused of involvement in attacks, while Israeli authorities have ordered lengthy prison sentences for Palestinians as young as 14 years old.

Most recently, on Sunday, 19-year-old Shurouq Dwayya was sentenced to 16 years in prison and her family was fined of 80,000 shekels ($20,929). Shurouq was shot and injured by the 35-year-old Israeli settler after she allegedly attempted to stab him on Oct. 7, 2015.

However, witnesses told Ma'an at the time that she had been assaulted by the Israeli settler and did not have any sharp objects on her at the time of the incident.

Last week, an Israeli military court sentenced 15-year-old Natalie Shukha to a year and a half in prison after she was convicted of attempting to stab an Israeli soldier at a military checkpoint. Shukha was shot in the chest and injured by Israeli forces on the scene.
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