Senior Hamas military commander Ibrahim Hamed was found guilty on Wednesday by an Israeli military court for the deaths of 46 people in terrorist attacks during the Second Intifada.
Hamed, 47, started as a Hamas operative in the 1980s. In 2001, he was released from a Palestinian Authority prison and masterminded a string of deadly attacks during the Second Intifada, including the Café Moment, Hebrew University, and Zion Square attacks in Jerusalem and the Rishon Letzion pool hall attack.
Hamed was arrested by Israeli forces in the West Bank in 2006.
Hamed's house was demolished in 2003 and his wife and children were deported to Jordan.
Hamas tried to include Hamed among the prisoners released in the Gilad Shalit swap deal, but Israel adamantly rejected releasing him.
According to the Shin Bet security service, Hamid is a "groundbreaker in the field of strategic terror" and a "model" for other terrorists.
Hamed was charged and found guilty on 46 counts of murder, and for six attempted attacks, including failed bids to blow up an oil refinery and rail lines.
Hamed was found innocent on a charge of attempting to blow up a Tel Aviv club.
Hamed did not testify in court, as he did not recognize the authority of an Israeli court. The trial took an extended period of time, due to the fact that the composition of the first panel of judges was changed after clashes with Hamed on various procedures. The second panel heard testimony from dozens of witnesses, mostly from the Shin Bet security service.
The military prosecution's main evidence was the testimony to police of Abdullah Barghouti, an explosives engineer who received 67 life sentences, and Mohammed Arman, a Hamas member who received 37 life sentences. In their testimony, the two pointed to Hamed as an initiator of terrorist attacks.
However, Arman gave detailed testimony in court and explained that he had erred, saying that he wasn't speaking of Hamed, but rather another person who was killed by the IDF in December 2003. Barghouti claimed insanity. Hamed's lawyer Mahmid Salah argued that Hamed should be acquitted.
The military prosecution requested that Hamed receive 56 life sentences.
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