Austria Hands Down Life Imprisonment to Hamas Terrorist Released in Gilad Shalit Deal

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A court in Austria sentenced a Hamas terrorist who was released in the Gilad Shalit prisoners swap to life imprisonment for conspiring and soliciting others to carry out attacks in Jerusalem, Noam Sharvit, Spokesperson for the State Attorney’s Office, reported Monday.

The terrorist, whose name was banned from publication in Austria, lived in the Gaza Strip and stayed in Austria. During the course of 2016, he contacted two residents of the liberated territories via the Internet and arranged for them to recruit additional members to carry out grenade attacks in Jerusalem. The attacks were not carried out.

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Following intelligence information, the Israeli General Security Service located the terrorist in Austria. The information revealed that the man, who had previously served a prison term for Hamas activity, planned to promote a terrorist attack in Israel.

Following the receipt of said information, four residents of Judea and Samaria were arrested by the ISA on suspicion of involvement in terrorist activities. These activists have tried, and the legal proceedings in their case have not yet ended.

The information was transferred to the security authorities in Austria by the GSS and led to the arrest of the man in Austria.

As part of the investigation and the man’s prosecution in Austria, and at the request of the Austrian authorities, the State of Israel provided legal assistance to the prosecution. This assistance included providing testimony by the four residents of Judea and Samaria who were tried.

The testimonies were heard in the Tel Aviv Magistrate’s Court and were broadcast via videoconference to the investigating judge in Austria, who interrogated the witnesses.

A week ago, the legal process in Austria came to an end, when the accused was convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment.

The prosecution’s request for legal aid was handled by Attorney Matan Akiva of the International Department of the Israeli State Attorney’s Office, in cooperation with the Military Advocate General’s Office and the Israel Security Agency.

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