Palestinian Indicted for West Bank Attacks That Claimed Lives of Three Israelis

Assam Barghouthi is charged with carrying out two shooting attacks in which he killed two Israeli soldiers and a prematurely born baby whose mother was hit

File photo: Emergency forces on site of shooting near West Bank settlement of Ofra, December 9, 2018.
Ammar Awad/Reuters

A Palestinian was indicted Monday for killing three Israelis in two separate West Bank shooting attacks he carried out in December. 

The 29-year-old Assam Barghouthi, who was released from Israeli prison in April after having served an 11-year sentence for security offenses, was indicted for three counts of murder and attempted murder.

According to the indictment, Barghouthi carried out a drive-by shooting near the West Bank settlement of Ofra, along with his brother, Salah, on December 9. Seven Israeli were wounded in the attack, including a pregnant woman, whose baby was delivered prematurely immediately following the attack and died.

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Four days following the first attack, Barghouthi is said to have carried out another shooting in the same area, where two Israeli soldiers were killed and two other Israelis, a soldier and a civilian, were wounded.

Barghouti, who was arrested by the Shin Bet security service in the West Bank village of Abu Shukheidim in early January, will be held in the Israeli Ofer prison, south of Ramallah, until the end of the legal proceedings against him. Shin Bet said he has been planning further attacks against Israeli targets.

He comes from the village of Kobar, north of Ramallah, and hails from a Hamas-affiliated family. His home was demolished by the Israel Defense Forces and Border Police on Thursday.

His father, 66-year-old Omar, is a senior Hamas member who had served a total of 28 years in Israeli prisons in non-consecutive terms. The defendant's brother, Salah, was shot dead by Israeli forces during his attempted arrest following the attacks.