Palestinian given life sentence over Israeli soldier death

JERUSALEM: An Israeli military court on Monday sentenced a Palestinian to life in prison for murdering an Israeli soldier in the occupied West Bank last year, the army said.

“The military court in Judea (the West Bank) handed a life sentence… to the terrorist Islam Naji (Abu Hamid),” a statement from the army read.

He was also ordered to pay a compensation of 258,000 shekels ($72,900, 65,000 euros), it said. 

Abu Hamid was convicted in April of murdering Ronen Lubarsky, a special forces soldier who was struck in the head by a stone during an arrest operation in the West Bank on May 24, 2018.

The 20-year-old Israeli sergeant died of his injuries two days later.

Palestinian sources said the stone had been thrown at him during an operation to arrest Palestinians in the Al-Amari refugee camp near the West Bank city of Ramallah.

The camp, which is home to about 15,000 Palestinians, is often the scene of clashes between Israeli forces and Palestinians.

The Israeli army destroyed the family home of Abu Hamid in Ramallah on December 15.

Israel has a policy of demolishing the homes of Palestinians it says are behind deadly attacks against Israelis, saying it acts as a deterrent.

Critics denounce it as a form of collective punishment that makes families homeless and can provoke further violence.

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