Palestinian gets two life sentences for murdering Israeli man in 2015 terror attack

Maad Hamed was arrested by Israel last year after escaping PA custody; is also ordered to pay family of Malachy Rosenfeld, killed in drive-by shooting that Hamed orchestrated

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

Malachy Rosenfeld (Courtesy)
Malachy Rosenfeld (Courtesy)

A military court handed down two life sentences on Sunday to a Palestinian terrorist who carried out a deadly shooting attack in the West Bank in 2015.

Maad Hamed was part of a Hamas cell that killed Malachy Rosenfeld, 25, and wounded three others in a drive-by shooting attack near the West Bank settlement of Shvut Rachel, north of Ramallah, on June 29, 2015.

Hamed was convicted in December 2022 of intentionally causing Rosenfeld’s death. The charge is equivalent to murder in Israel’s West Bank military court system. He was additionally convicted of attempted murder, several other security offenses, and various charges over a separate shooting attack that caused no injuries, also in June 2015.

In addition to the two life sentences, Hamed was also ordered to pay a total of NIS 1,090,000 ($290,000) to the Rosenfeld family and other victims wounded in the attack.

An indictment filed last year said Hamed had established a terror cell on behalf of Hamas “with the aim of carrying out attacks against Israeli targets, and planned, together with other members of the unit, to carry out a shooting attack.”

It added that he had shot at the vehicle with the other cell members, killing Rosenfeld.

An Israeli vehicle hit by gunfire near the West Bank settlement of Shvut Rachel, north of Ramallah, June 29, 2015. (Courtesy: Israel Hatzolah)

Hamed was arrested by the Palestinian Authority in July 2015, not long after the attack, and remained in PA custody until April 2022, when he escaped, according to the Shin Bet security agency.

He was quickly arrested by Israeli security forces in the West Bank town of Silwad, considered a Hamas stronghold.

Hamed had been previously convicted and jailed for a year over his connection to a 2012 shooting attack. And in 2014, he was in administrative detention — a controversial measure enabling Israel to hold him without charge — for several months over his affiliation with the terror group.

Rosenfeld’s three friends, who were with him in the car, were wounded in the attack. The Hamas terrorists opened fire on their car near Shvut Rachel as they returned home from a basketball game. The four, all of whom lived in the West Bank settlement of Kochav Hashahar, had been driving near Route 60, the main north-south artery running through the West Bank, when they were attacked.

In July 2015, security forces detained four members of a seven-strong Hamas cell behind the attack, the Shin Bet said at the time.

Two others — including Hamed — were held by the Palestinian Authority, and the ringleader was said to be in Jordan.

Three members of the cell have already been given life sentences for the attack.

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