Murdered soldier’s family slams IDF court for refusing death penalty

The family’s lawyer, former IDF West Bank chief prosecutor Maurice Hirsch, said that the call for capital punishment was simple and straightforward to deter future attacks on soldiers.

Ronen Lubarsky Z"L (photo credit: IDF SPOKESPERSON'S UNIT)
Ronen Lubarsky Z"L
The family of St.-Sgt. Ronen Lubarsky, a commando in the elite counterterrorism Duvdevan unit killed in May by Islam Yusuf Abu Hamid during an IDF operation to arrest suspected terrorists in al-Am’ari refugee camp near Ramallah, announced Monday that it will boycott the trial taking place in the Judea Military Court because the court has refused to consider the death penalty for the attacker.
Standing outside the court, Lubarsky’s family said that the court’s decision to not consider the death penalty was “an embarrassment and a disgrace.”
The family has accused “the judicial establishment of putting itself above the political establishment,” and noted that in private meetings with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, the IDF Military Advocate General and other top defense officials, they were told no complete ban is in place against the death penalty.
The family’s lawyer, former IDF West Bank chief prosecutor Maurice Hirsch, said that the call for capital punishment was intended to deter further attacks on soldiers.
Hirsch added Netanyahu expressed surprise that the IDF prosecution was not seeking the death penalty and that, after meeting with him, the family had expected the court to be more open to the idea.
During Monday’s hearing, Abu Hamid pleaded not guilty of murdering Lubarsky.
Earlier, Deputy Defense Minister Eli Ben Dahan and Science and Technology Minister Ofir Akunis both issued statements favoring capital punishment for him.
Yisrael Beytenu party leader Avigdor Liberman has championed capital punishment for Palestinian terrorists for years. To date, Netanyahu has publicly sided with the legal establishment’s blanket opposition to the death penalty.
In July, the IDF West Bank prosecution filed an indictment for murder against Abu Hamid for murdering Lubarsky.
Israel will continue to bring to justice anyone who attacks or tries to attack Israeli civilians or IDF soldiers, Netanyahu said following Abu Hamid’s arrest in mid-June.
“A Duvdevan soldier is the one who was killed, and Duvdevan is the unit that apprehended the terrorist,” Netanyahu said.
Lubarsky, from Rehovot, was seriously wounded when a marble slab was dropped on his head during an operation to arrest a terrorist cell involved in recent shooting attacks. The soldier, who was part of the operation’s covering force, received initial emergency medical attention in the field. Transferred to intensive care at Hadassah University Medical Center in Jerusalem’s Ein Kerem, he succumbed to his wounds two days later.
Anna Ahronheim contributed to this report.