Gazan Who Planned Attacks, Fired Rocket at Israel Gets 20 Years in Prison

Madhat Abu Snima was sentenced after confessing to a number of terror-related crimes, including being a member of Hamas’ military wing since he was a minor

FILE PHOTO: A streak of light is seen as a rocket is launched from the northern Gaza Strip towards Israel August 21, 2014

An Israeli district court on Monday sentenced a 26-year-old Gazan to 20 years’ imprisonment after he confessed to a number of terror-related crimes, including being a member of Hamas’ military wing since he was a minor.

During his trial before the Be'er Sheva District Court, Madhat Abu Snima said, “I’ve stopped with all the organizations I was with; I’ve never killed or anything like that.”

Abu Snima was charged in May 2016, but the indictment was amended so as to come to a plea agreement.

The amended indictment, to which Abu Snima confessed, linked him to a long list of attempted murders, contact with a foreign agent, membership in an illegal organization, membership in a terror group, forbidden military training and submitting information to the enemy.

According to the charge sheet, Abu Snima began his involvement with terror when he joined the al-Aqsa Brigades in 2007, when he was 15. He was part of a cell that planned to plant a 25-kilogram explosive device near the border fence, but a dispute among the cell members resulted in the plot being abandoned.

Two years later, Abu Snima underwent military training, during which he learned sharpshooting. He then became a security guard for Hamas, and was eventually appointed to head a cell.

In the summer of 2010 Abu Snima began monitoring Israel Defense Forces movements. During this period, a Hamas member gave Abu Snima and a partner an explosive device weighing between 70 and 80 kilograms, which was to be detonated by pulling at it when an IDF bulldozer came close.

The two planted the bomb some 200 meters from where the IDF was operating and waited several days, but the Israeli forces did not approach the area.

To attract the force the two planted a smaller, 4-kilogram bomb, and detonated it from afar. IDF forces came to the area a few hours later, but without realizing it their earthwork covered the area where the big bomb had been planted before the two could pull on it, and it was never detonated.

Another case alleged that Abu Snima destroyed a tree in the Strip, after being alerted by a Hamas operative that a tree in the Strip was being used by Israeli security forces to hide payout money to Gazan collaborators.

In 2012, following Operation Pillar of Defense, Abu Snima fired a rocket at the army’s Sufa outpost.

In sentencing Abu Snima, District Court Judges Natan Zlotchover, Shlomo Friedlander and Dina Cohen said, “Offenses of this type require real and painful punishment that will deter potential criminals from taking part, directly or indirectly, in acts of terror that undermine the peace and security of the Israeli public.”