Israel reinstates life term of Hamas prisoner freed in swap

AP News
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Posted: Feb 23, 2017 11:33 AM
Israel reinstates life term of Hamas prisoner freed in swap

RAMALLAH, West Bank (AP) — An Israeli court has ordered a senior Hamas member to complete his life sentence after the man was freed in a 2011 swap of hundreds of inmates for an Israeli soldier held by Hamas, 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 teens were killed by a Hamas cell in 2014. Barghouti, arrested in that sweep, subsequently served 30 months for Hamas membership. Barghouti completed the sentence but was never released.

Prisoner rights campaigner Qadoura Fares said Thursday that a military court reinstated Barghouti's original sentence on appeal, life plus 18 years.

There was no immediate comment from the Israeli military on the issue.

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.

There was no comment on the incident in Gaza.