Israeli Intelligence Led to Arrest of Hamas Man Sentenced to Life in Austria

The 27-year-old Hamas activist was sentenced to life imprisonment for incitement. He was serving a life sentence in Israel before being released as part of the Gilad Shalit prisoner exchange in 2011

File photo: A young Palestinian takes part in a Hamas rally to show solidarity with Al-Aqsa mosque, in Gaza City July 27, 2017.
MOHAMMED SALEM/REUTERS

Intelligence collected by Israel's Shin Bet security service led to the arrest of a Hamas activist living in Austria who was last week sentenced to life imprisonment for attempting to persuade West Bank Palestinians to carry out deadly attacks against Jewish targets in Jerusalem.
 
The 27-year-old man, whose name is under a media gag, moved to Austria from the Gaza Strip after being released as part of the prisoner exchange deal for IDF soldier Gilad Shalit in 2011. The man was serving a life sentence in Israel for prior terror activities.
 
According to the investigation, the man contacted two West Bank residents in 2016 in an effort to persuade them to help carry out an attack in Jerusalem. The attack did not come to fruition. The people with whom he had been in contact with were reportedly supposed to have recruited others in order to carry out the attack.
 
The Gaza man was tracked down in Austria due to the efforts of Israel's Shin Bet, who passed the relevant information to Austria's security services, resulting in his subsequent arrest.
 
Legal proceedings in Israel against those West Bank residents with whom the man had been in contact with are ongoing.

The six-member jury delivered its verdict at his sentencing last week, after prosecutors presented evidence that the man called on others through social media to kill victims in Jerusalem. They cited his statements expressing pride in being a Hamas member.

The man's defense lawyers are reported to be appealing the sentence.