Military court indicts Palestinian suspected of killing soldier with stone slab
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Military court indicts Palestinian suspected of killing soldier with stone slab

Charging Islam Yousef Abu Hamid with murder of Staff Sgt. Ronen Lubarsky, Military Advocate General requests that 32-year-old be remanded until end of proceedings

Ronen Lubarsky, an IDF soldier from the Duvdevan unit who died on May 26, 2018 after being critically injured by a slab thrown on his head two days earlier (Courtesy)
Ronen Lubarsky, an IDF soldier from the Duvdevan unit who died on May 26, 2018 after being critically injured by a slab thrown on his head two days earlier (Courtesy)

A military court filed an indictment Thursday against a Palestinian suspected of killing an IDF soldier during a May raid in the al-Am’ari refugee camp in the West Bank city of Ramallah.

Islam Yousef Abu Hamid, 32, was charged with murdering Staff Sgt. Ronen Lubarsky and the Military Advocate General requested that he be remanded until the end of proceedings against him.

On May 24, Lubarsky’s unit entered al-Am’ari in search of a group of terrorists suspected of carrying out shooting attacks on nearby highways, the army said.

During the raid, Hamid allegedly dropped a large stone slab on the special forces soldier’s head from the roof of a three-story building, fatally wounding him.

Israeli troops on June 6, 2018, arrest a Palestinian man suspected of killing an IDF soldier by dropping a stone slab on his head in the al-Am’ari refugee camp in Ramallah the month before. (Screen capture: Israel Defense Forces)

Lubarsky, 20, succumbed to his wounds in the hospital a few hours later.

According to Thursday’s indictment, Hamid’s actions had been in retaliation for the January arrest of one of his brothers.

On the night of the incident, the suspect woke up to the sounds of dogs barking and soldiers shouting as they arrested two of his neighbors in an adjacent house.

Hamid climbed to the roof of a neighboring home where he chose the heavier of two marble slabs that were waiting there for him. He lifted the 40-pound slab onto the railing of the roof and hurled it down onto Lubarsky who was standing below.

The suspect then immediately climbed back onto the roof of his home and crawled inside as soldiers tended to their injured comrade.

Hamid was also charged with obstruction of justice for efforts to tamper with the crime scene hours after the incident.

According to the indictment, Hamid snuck back to the adjacent rooftop and used cleaning materials to wipe his fingerprints off of the second marble slab that he had grasped earlier, but decided against using.

On June 6, the Shin Bet security service arrested Hamid in his home, along with a number of other suspects.

According to the Shin Bet, Hamid had been incarcerated in Israeli prison from 2004 to 2009 for terrorist activities committed on behalf of the Hamas group.

In a statement, the security service said Hamid’s brothers were also members of Hamas.

“Islam’s brothers are Hamas operatives who have in the past carried out terror attacks in which Israelis were killed, including Shin Bet agent Noam Cohen,” the Shin Bet said.

Cohen was killed in 1994 when Hamas members opened fire at his car while he was driving with a Hamas informant in the West Bank city of Hebron.

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