Aslam Abu-Hamid Naji, the murderer of IDF soldier Ronen Lubarsky, Hy”d, was sentenced to life in prison plus an additional eight years, and ordered to pay the Lubarsky family NIS 258,000 in compensatory damages. The family, which had demanded the death penalty for Naji, denounced the sentence, calling it insufficient and “further proof that it pays to kill Israelis.”
Lubarsky, 20, was killed last May after he was severely injured in an IDF action in Ramallah. He was hit in the head by a block of marble by Arab terrorists as soldiers were attempting to make arrests of terrorists in the refugee camp outside Ramallah. Naji admitted under interrogation that it was he who threw the block of marble on Lubarsky as he and other soldiers of the Duvdevan unit carried out arrests in the camp. It also emerged that his brothers and several older members of his family are members of Hamas, and that he has aided them in various acts of terror, including the 1994 murder of Shin Bet agent Noam Cohen, Hy”d.
As the sentence was handed down, family members and supporters in the courtroom jeered, calling out “shame on the court.” After the hearing, the soldier’s father Vladmir said that the sentence was “shameful and embarrassing.” His brother Arik said that the family was “very disappointed in the justice system. Another terrorist is going to the Israeli ‘summer camp’ prison,” called that because of the relatively pleasant conditions experienced by terrorists in high-security prisons.
The court labeled Naji an “ideological murderer,” but held back on imposing the death penalty, which was within its rights to impose. The family had also demanded NIS 5 million in compensation, the Lubarsky family attorney, Morris Hirsch, said. “The objective of that demand was to prevent the terrorist from receiving his salary from the Palestinian Authority,” with the PA paying terrorists and their families monthly stipends.
The family was present in the courtroom for the sentencing, but they had boycotted the trial, saying that they did not believe the court would treat Naji in the manner he deserved to be treated. Family members sent angry letters to numerous government officials, including Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, demanding intervention in ensuring that Naji receive the death penalty.
In a statement, Yisrael Beytenu head Avigdor Liberman said that “the death penalty would have been the appropriate punishment for a terrorist who carried out a premeditated attack. Unfortunately, Prime Minister Netanyahu has not seen fit to pass a law requiring the death penalty for terrorists during his time in office. This terrorist will enter prison and enjoy comfortable conditions, and receive a monthly salary from the PA. And if that wasn’t enough, he will enter prison knowing that he could be released in the first mass release of prisons in an exchange for a kidnapped IDF soldier.”