Israel reinstates life term of Hamas prisoner freed in swapThu, 23 Feb, 2017
| Posted By: The Times Of Earth (TOE)
Hamas militant Nael Barghouti waves a green Islamic flag and a Palestinian flag to the crowd after arriving in the West Bank city of Ramallah. (AP Photo/Majdi Mohammed, File)
An Israeli court has ordered a senior Hamas member to complete his life sentence after he was freed in a 2011 swap of hundreds of inmates for an Israeli soldier held by the militant Islamic group, a Palestinian activist said Thursday.
At the time of the exchange, Nael Barghouti had served 33 years for participating in the kidnapping and killing of an Israeli soldier, making him one of the longest-held Palestinians.
Israel has since rearrested scores of Palestinians for allegedly resuming anti-Israel activities.
One roundup came after three Israeli teenagers were killed by a Hamas cell in 2014. Barghouti, arrested in that sweep, subsequently served 30 months for Hamas membership. He completed the sentence but was never released.
Prisoner rights campaigner Qadoura Fares said that a military court reinstated Barghouti's original sentence on appeal, life plus 18 years.
The Israeli military said he was sentenced "for a series of security offenses, including murder."
It said that "after his release, Barghouti renewed his involvement in terrorist activity, violating the terms of his release" and the prosecution asked that his sentence be served in full.
Meanwhile, the military said a jet "intercepted" a drone deployed by Hamas, which rules the Gaza Strip, after it took off from the territory. The military said that it prevented the drone from infiltrating Israeli airspace.