Hebron brothers get life in prison for sniper spree
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Hebron brothers get life in prison for sniper spree

Nasser and Akram Badawi, convicted of 12 counts of attempted murder, to pay NIS 60,000 ($17K) to their 4 victims

Judah Ari Gross is The Times of Israel's military correspondent.

A photo composite showing Nasser, right, and Akram Badawi, who are believed to have carried out a number of shooting attacks against Israelis since November. (Shin Bet)
A photo composite showing Nasser, right, and Akram Badawi, who are believed to have carried out a number of shooting attacks against Israelis since November. (Shin Bet)

A military court on Sunday sentenced two Hebron brothers to life in prison for a series of sniper attacks on Israeli soldiers and civilians in the West Bank, the army said.

From November 2015 to January 2016, Nasser and Akram Badawi committed a number of shooting attacks in Hebron and the surrounding area, injuring two civilians and two IDF soldiers.

They were arrested by Israeli security forces in January 2016 and convicted of 12 counts of attempted murder, as well as other security violations. According to the Shin Bet security service, the younger brother, Nasser, is a member of Hamas,

In addition to their life sentences, the Badawi brothers were ordered to pay a total of NIS 60,000 ($17,000) to their victims, the army said.

A sniper rifle believed to have been used by two Palestinian brothers in a number of shooting attacks against Israeli civilians and soldiers in the West Bank city of Hebron. (Shin Bet)

On November 6, 2015, Nasser and Akram met on the third floor of a building owned by their father near the Tomb of the Patriarchs in Hebron. From that vantage point, Nasser, 23, and Akram, 33, fired into a group of Jewish Israelis who were praying near the holy site, injuring two of them, one seriously and the other lightly.

“After carrying out the attack, the two then went on to their cousin’s wedding celebration,” the Shin Bet said last year, citing their confession.

The Badawi brothers decided to carry out their sniper attacks as a form of revenge for the killing of an elderly Hebron resident who was shot as she allegedly attempted to carry out a car ramming attack at the nearby Halhul Junction earlier that day, Nasser told investigators.

On January 3, 2016, Nasser returned to the same apartment with the sniper rifle, which was later confiscated by the Shin Bet, and shot at a group of soldiers, hitting a female cadet in the pelvis and seriously injuring her, according to the security service.

Later that day, the two brothers traveled to the nearby Kvasim Junction, where Akram again fired at a group of soldiers, lightly wounding one.

Six days later, Nasser was arrested and questioned about his involvement in the attacks. To throw off suspicion, Akram carried out another shooting on January 16, though no one was injured in the attempt, the Shin Bet said.

A short while later, Akram was arrested as well.

In addition to the attacks that resulted in injuries, the brothers are also suspected of having carried out a number of shootings against groups of Israeli soldiers in Hebron and against nearby military outposts, in which no one was hurt, the Shin Bet said.

During their confessions, the brothers told their interrogators they’d learned how to silence the sniper rifle using an old oil filter by watching videos on the Internet, the Shin Bet said.

“The IDF will continue to work to provide security to Judea and Samaria and will bring terrorist operatives to justice,” the military says in a statement, using the biblical term for the West Bank.

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