Palestinian terrorist gets two life sentences, fined a million shekels for 2015 attack

Mu’ad Hamed murdered Malachi Rosenfeld and injured three others in a drive-by shooting in 2015.

By Batya Jerenberg, World Israel News

The Palestinian who murdered Malachi Rosenfeld and injured three others in a drive-by shooting in Samaria in June 2015 was sentenced Sunday to two life terms in prison and ordered to pay a million shekels in compensation.

Mu’ad Hamed had been incarcerated in a Palestinian prison since the attack, but then escaped last year. He immediately joined a Hamas cell and was planning to carry out a terror attack in Jerusalem over the Passover holiday when he was captured with his group in a joint operation of the IDF and Shabak, who received an intelligence tip regarding his location.

In addition to the conviction on the murder and attempted murder charges, Hamed, 33, was found guilty of membership and activity in an illegal terrorist organization (Hamas) along other security offenses, including a prior shooting attack on an ambulance in Samaria.

The NIS 1,090,000 fine (just under $300,000) is to be divided between those injured and the Rosenfeld family. It is unclear from where the money would come to pay the court-ordered compensation.

Rosenfeld, 27, from the village of Kochav HaShachar, was returning with his friends from a basketball game when Hamed fired over a dozen bullets at them from a car filled with his fellow operatives. According to the prosecution, Hamed was the founder of the military unit, whose purpose was to search out and attack Israelis.

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Shai Maymon, one of those injured in the attack, tweeted that the sentence “was no comfort. It’s a little bit of justice. I hope he rots in jail his whole life, while we remember Malachi and sanctify life.” He added his thanks to the security forces and the military prosecutor’s office for their efforts in catching and convicting the terrorist.

“I think that every devastated family would secretly want a death sentence, but we are realistic,” Rosenfeld’s father Eliezer told Ynet after the sentence was handed down. “I hope that after the sentence, the conditions in prison will be more difficult. Especially for the terrorists who are the heads of the snake. [Hamed] engaged in terrorism 24 hours a day, he advise[d] the terrorists how to act.”

“He is deep into the extermination of Jews,” Rosenfeld added. “They need to deal with him with the harshest hand, because he’ll continue even from prison. He is relatively young and letting a thing like this grow would be a disaster.”

Three of Hamed’s accomplices were caught soon after the murder, with two of them sentenced in 2017 to life in prison and one to life plus 30 years. One of them – the mastermind – remains free. According to the original 2015 indictment, Ahmed Najar, a Hamas terrorist living in Jordan, had ordered the strike and supplied the money to buy the weapons.

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Najer had been serving six life sentences in Israel but was released four years earlier in the Gilad Shalit deal, which saw 1,027 terrorists exchanged for the IDF soldier held prisoner by Hamas for five years in the Gaza Strip.