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Ronen Lubarsky Z"L.(Photo by: IDF SPOKESPERSON'S UNIT)
Terrorist gets life in prison for murder of Ronen Lubarsky
By YONAH JEREMY BOB
07/22/2019
The Judea Military Court sentenced Islam Yusuf Abu Hamid to life in prison plus eight months on Monday for the 2018 murder of St.-Sgt. Ronen Lubarsky, a commando in the elite counterterrorism Duvdevan unit.

In July 2018, the IDF West Bank prosecution filed an indictment for murder against Abu Hamid. Lubarsky, from Rehovot, was mortally wounded when a marble slab was dropped on his head during an operation to arrest a terrorist cell in Ramallah involved in recent shooting attacks.

An IDF official stated after the May 24, 2018 incident that Lubarsky was wearing full protective gear and standing close to one of the homes in the al-Am’ari refugee camp in Ramallah and that his helmet was “destroyed” after he was hit by the slab, which was dropped from a third-story rooftop.

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.

In October, Lubarsky’s family said it would boycott the trial because the court refused to consider the death penalty for the attacker.

Standing outside the court in October, Lubarsky’s family said that the court’s decision 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, had said that the call for capital punishment was intended to deter further attacks on soldiers.

Hirsch had 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.

Also in October, then Deputy Defense Minister Eli Ben Dahan and Science and Technology Minister Ofir Akunis both issued statements favoring capital punishment for Abu Hamid.

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.

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 June last year.

“A Duvdevan soldier is the one who was killed, and Duvdevan is the unit that apprehended the terrorist,” Netanyahu said.

Anna Ahronheim contributed to this report.
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