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Palestinian-American convicted for deadly West Bank shooting attack

Muntasir Shalabi, suspect in a May 2, 2021, West Bank drive-by shooting, in an undated photo (Courtesy)
Muntasir Shalabi, suspect in a May 2, 2021, West Bank drive-by shooting, in an undated photo (Courtesy)

A military court has convicted a Palestinian man with US citizenship of murder for shooting dead a Jewish student in the West Bank, the Israel Defense Forces says.

The court “convicted the terrorist Muntasir Shalabi, based on his confession, of the crime of intentional manslaughter — equivalent to the offense of murder,” the IDF says.

In addition, Shalabi was convicted of “several counts of attempted intentional manslaughter, and possession of a weapon and obstruction of justice,” according to a military statement.

Shalabi, 44, was arrested by Israeli forces in May after he opened fire on passengers waiting at a bus stop at Tapuah junction, south of Nablus in the northern West Bank.

The attack killed Yehuda Guetta, 19, a student at a yeshiva in the Itamar settlement, and wounded two of his friends.

Yehuda Guetta, 19, was killed in a drive-by shooting in the West Bank (courtesy)

Last month, the IDF demolished Shalabi’s house in Turmus Ayya, a village northeast of the West Bank city of Ramallah.

The move was denounced by the United States, which said such demolitions “exacerbate tensions and undercut efforts to advance a negotiated two-state solution.”

Israel believes that demolishing the homes of assailants deters such attacks in the future, but critics denounce the practice as unjustified collective punishment.

Shalabi will be sentenced at a later date.

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