Israel Extends Solitary Confinement for Terrorist Who Directed Attacks From Prison

Senior Hamas military commander, Ibrahim Hamid, behind West Bank shooting last year; Hamid arrested in May 2006 over deaths caused by terror attacks during second intifada.

Ibrahim Hamid, a senior Hamas military commander in the West Bank, planned and saw to the carrying out of a shooting in the West Bank a year ago despite being in solitary confinement in an Israeli prison for the past five years.

Hamid, from the West Bank town of Silwad, was arrested in May 2006. He was tried and convicted of being responsible for the deaths of 46 Israeli in suicide bombings in the early days of the second intifada. According to the Shin Bet security service, Hamid is, in fact, responsible for the deaths of 90 Israelis, and is considered a "groundbreaker in the field of strategic terror" and a "model" for other terrorists.

Ibrahim Hamid May 22, 2011 (Tomer Appelbaum)
Tomer Appelbaum

Hamas wants Hamid included among the Palestinian prisoners to be exchanged for the release of Gilad Shalit, but Israel is adamant that he stay in jail.

Hamid has been in total isolation since his arrest. He was recently moved from Ayalon Prison to Hasharon Prison. With the exception of his attorneys, Hamid is barred from having visitors.

Last week, the Central District Court extended Hamid's solitary confinement by an additional six months in what has become a biannual event. Unclassified information submitted by the state to support its request to extend Hamid's isolation indicated the existence of recent intelligence "pointing to his involvement in planning, from prison, a shooting attack in which two Israelis were injured on September 1, 2010 at Rimonim Junction. [Hamid] constitutes a serious and extraordinary danger even from within prison."

Palestinian security forces arrested three members of a terror cell as suspects in the shooting, in which a couple from Ma'aleh Efraim sustained minor to moderate injuries when they were shot at from a passing car.

In March, Haaretz reported that the suspects admitted during questioning that their original plan had been to murder the victims, and that they had dug hiding places for that purpose in Silwad.

In granting the state's request, Judge Clara Reginiano wrote that she had been persuaded by the intelligence information, establishing "a clear danger" to state security in removing [Hamid] from isolation.

Hamid's lawyer said it is nearly impossible to challenge solitary confinement because it is based entirely on classified information.

The Shin Bet and the Israel Prison Service declined comment.