Terror suspect Asem Barghouti indicted over deadly West Bank attacks
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Terror suspect Asem Barghouti indicted over deadly West Bank attacks

Palestinian charged with carrying out a shooting attack in December that killed an unborn child, and another, days later, that left two soldiers dead

Asem (L) and Salih (R) Barghouti at a rally in Kobar after the former was released from Israeli prison in April 2018 (screenshot: Twitter)
Asem (L) and Salih (R) Barghouti at a rally in Kobar after the former was released from Israeli prison in April 2018 (screenshot: Twitter)

A Palestinian man was charged with three murder counts Monday over a pair of December terror attacks that led to the deaths of two soldiers and an unborn baby, the Israel Defense Forces said.

Asem Barghouti was arrested in January and accused of carrying out a shooting attack on a bus stop near the outpost of Givat Assaf on December 13 and of assisting his brother Salih in a shooting attack on a bus stop near the Ofra settlement on December 9.

Two soldiers, Sgt. Yosef Cohen and Staff Sgt. Yovel Mor Yosef, were killed in the Givat Assaf attack. Another soldier, Israeli-American Netanel Felber, was seriously injured and Shira Sabag, a civilian woman, was also hurt in the shooting.

Seven people were injured in the Ofra attack, including a seven-months pregnant woman who was seriously wounded. Doctors delivered her baby boy in an emergency operation, but he died days later despite intensive efforts to save him.

A photo composite shows Sgt. Yosef Cohen, left, and Staff Sgt. Yovel Mor Yosef of the IDF’s Kfir Brigade. The two were killed on December 13, 2018, in a terrorist shooting attack outside the Givat Assaf settlement outpost in the central West Bank. (Israel Defense Forces)

The charge sheet, filed at the Judea Military Court in the West Bank, accuses Barghouti of various grave offenses, including three counts of intentionally causing death — the military court’s equivalent of murder — and several counts of attempts to intentionally cause death.

The court accepted the prosecution’s request to keep Barghouti detained until the end of the trial.

Last Thursday, Israeli troops razed Barghouti’s home in the West Bank town of Kobar, near Ramallah, in a predawn operation.

His brother Salih, also from Kobar, was killed by Israeli troops during an attempted arrest on December 12.

Asem Barghouti’s arrest followed a nearly month-long manhunt.

Judah Ari Gross contributed to this report.

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