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Court: Hamas member arrested after being freed in Gilad Shalit swap will complete life sentence

Emanuel (Mannie) Fabian is The Times of Israel's military correspondent.

Hamas terrorist Nael Barghouti waves a green Islamic flag and a Palestinian flag to the crowd after arriving in the West Bank city of Ramallah after he was released as part of an exchange for Gilad Shalit, an Israeli soldier held by Hamas, October 18, 2011. (AP/Majdi Mohammed)
Hamas terrorist Nael Barghouti waves a green Islamic flag and a Palestinian flag to the crowd after arriving in the West Bank city of Ramallah after he was released as part of an exchange for Gilad Shalit, an Israeli soldier held by Hamas, October 18, 2011. (AP/Majdi Mohammed)

An Israeli court has ruled that a senior Hamas member will serve out his life sentence after he was freed in the 2011 Gilad Shalit prisoner swap and later rearrested.

At the time of the exchange, Nael Barghouti had served 33 years for participating in the killing of an Israeli bus driver, making him one of the longest-held Palestinians. He was arrested in 1978 at the age of 20.

Barghouti was rearrested in 2014 during a roundup of prisoners released in the 2011 exchange, amid a hunt for a Hamas cell behind the kidnapping and killing of three Israeli teens in the West Bank.

The Israel Defense Forces say a military court has reinstated Barghouti’s original sentence on appeal, life plus 18 years.

In 2017, the Palestinian Prisoners Club said Israel had reinstated the sentence, but the IDF made no comment on the matter at the time.

Agencies contributed to this report.

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