Israel Sentences Palestinian Brothers to Life in Prison for Hebron Shooting Attacks

The defendants, Nasser and Akram Badawi, who wounded four Israelis in a string of attacks in 2015 and 2016, fired from an apartment overlooking the Tomb of the Patriarchs

Woman cadet wounded in Hebron shooting in Jan. 2016 arrives at hospital
The woman cadet wounded in the Hebron shooting in Jan. 2016 arriving at Shaare Zedek hospital in Jerusalem. Amir Cohen/Reuters

An Israeli military court sentenced two Palestinian brothers from the West Bank town of Hebron to life in prison Sunday for wounding four Israelis — two soldiers and two civilians — in several sniper attacks in Hebron in 2015 and 2016. The defendants, Nasser and Akram Badawi, who were apprehended in January 2016, were also ordered to pay 60,000 shekels ($17,000) in compensation to each of their victims.

Nasser Badawi
Shin Bet security service

The brothers admitted to the charges against them and were convicted of deliberately attempting to cause death, the equivalent under military law of attempted murder. The two carried out at least five shootings in the West Bank town, a report from the Shin Bet security service at the time of their arrest said. Two improvised rifles include a sniper’s rifle were seized from the suspects. The brothers hid the sniper’s rifle in a Hebron mosque, from which they took it to carry out the attacks, according to the Shin Bet, and they fired from an apartment under renovation that overlooked the Tomb of the Patriarchs.

Akram Badawi
Shin Bet security service

Their first attack was committed on a Friday in November 2015, when they fired on Jews going to pray at the tomb, wounding two of them. Three weeks later, Nasser Badawi fired on a group of soldiers, but only hit a parked car.

In January 2016, Nasser Badawi is said to have seen a group of soldiers at the Tomb of the Patriarchs and called his brother to join him. The two fired on the soldiers, seriously wounding a female cadet from an officers’ course. Later the same day, they fired at an Israeli army roadblock in the Hebron area, lightly wounding a soldier. Under interrogation it emerged that they had tried to fire at the same roadblock on other occasions but failed to hit anyone.

"There is only one appropriate sentence – life in prison," military court president Lt. Col. Menachem Lieberman wrote in handing down the sentence. Although he acknowledged that a life sentence was not mandatory in the case, he wrote that, in his opinion, the case required it.