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Israel hands Palestinian 2 life sentences for involvement in deadly shooting attack

March 15, 2017 1:25 P.M. (Updated: March 15, 2017 9:27 P.M.)
(File)
HEBRON (Ma'an) -- Israel's Ofer military court sentenced 40-year-old Muhammad Abd al-Majid Amayreh to two lifetimes in prison, after the man was convicted for his involvement in a drive-by shooting in July 2016 that left one Israeli settler killed and three others injured, the Palestinian Prisoner’s Society (PPS) said on Wednesday.

According to the Shin Bet, Israel’s internal intelligence agency, Amayreh admitted to driving the car from which Muhammad al-Faqih shot at an Israeli family’s car south of Hebron in the southern occupied West Bank. The attack resulted in the death of Michael Mark, a rabbi and resident of the illegal Otniel settlement, while his wife Chava was critically injured. Two of their children sustained moderate and light wounds.

Al-Faqih, who carried out the shooting, was killed by Israeli forces after a weeks-long manhunt, when the home in which he was hiding was bombarded with missiles and razed to the ground while he was inside.

In January, Amayreh was convicted of murder for the rabbi's killing, in addition to being convicted of attempted murder over the injury of the family.

PPS lawyer Akram Samara said in a statement that the court also imposed a fine of 250,000 shekels (approximately $68,300) on Amayreh.

Israeli authorities refused to allow Amayreh's family to enter the courthouse after Amayreh refused to stand up when the judge entered the courtroom, according to Samara.

In August, Israeli forces demolished Amayreh's family home in Dura after an Israeli court rejected an appeal from the family against the punitive demolition.

The appeal, they said, explained to the court that Amayreh’s family and his children who live in the house did not know he was planning to carry out an attack, and should therefore not be subjected to having their home destroyed.

Israel’s response to Palestinian attacks on Israelis -- such as punitive home demolitions, the sealing of entire villages, mass detention campaigns, and withholding the bodies of Palestinians slain while committing attacks -- has been condemned by rights groups, who have said the measures amount to “collective punishment” and “court-sanctioned revenge,” and represent a clear violation of international law.

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