Palestinian given life sentence over Israeli soldier death

The Israeli soldier died after being struck by a rock in the head. (File/AFP)
Updated 22 July 2019

Palestinian given life sentence over Israeli soldier death

  • The man will also have to pay more than $70,000
  • Israeli forces destroyed the man’s home in Ramallah

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 $72,955, 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.


Iraq’s top cleric Al-Sistani discharged from hospital

Updated 3 min ago

Iraq’s top cleric Al-Sistani discharged from hospital

  • Al-Sistani underwent surgery Thursday at the Kafeel hospital in Karbala and was sent home Friday, officials at the hospital said
  • The cleric has been critical in calming tensions in recent months as the country faced crisis after crisis

KARBALA: Iraq’s most powerful cleric was discharged Friday from a hospital following a risky surgery for a fractured bone and returned to his home in southern Iraq, medical officials said.
Grand Ayatollah Ali Al-Sistani, who turns 90 later this year, fractured a thigh bone when he slipped while bathing before evening prayers Wednesday night. The surgery was considered risky for his age and came amid ongoing tensions in Iraq following the US killing of a top Iranian general and a popular protest movement against the country’s ruling elite.
Al-Sistani’s opinion is often sought during troubled times and news that his surgery was successful prompted a flurry of well-wishes from senior officials.
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said, “My prayers are extended along with the millions of Iraqis to whom he is a source of guidance and inspiration,” in a tweet early Friday.
Al-Sistani underwent surgery Thursday at the Kafeel hospital in Karbala and was sent home Friday, officials at the hospital said. He returned to his home in the holy city of Najaf. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to media.
The cleric has been critical in calming tensions in recent months as the country faced crisis after crisis beginning with mass protests seeking to unseat the political establishment and the recent US drone strike that killed Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani.