A Gaza terrorist has been sentenced to 10 years in jail for attacks he carried out as a member of Fatah's Al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigade. The man, Yousef abu-Hatab, was convicted of illegal weapons possession, three counts of attempted murder, taking part in illegal paramilitary training, conspiracy to commit a crime, and making contact with a foreign agent.
Hatab's crimes were committed between the years 2004 and 2008. He was accused of taking part in shooting attacks on IDF soldiers, planting bombs in Gaza, and digging a weapons tunnel between Gaza and Egypt.
In his verdict, Judge Baruch Azoulai gave support for a more lenient approach to punishment because Hatab, 20, did not succeed in causing injury or death in any of the attacks in which he took part. In addition, many of the attacks were committed while Hatab was 15 and 16, prior to his military training, “thus it stands to reason that he was not among the main organizers or perpetrators of the attacks.”
However, Azoulai stated that Hatab's young age could not be used to entirely excuse his behavior. “We must remember that due to the structure of terrorist organizations, the terrorist infrastructure is built on young men and teenagers like the accused, who are recruited at a young age toward the organization's murderous goals and 'develop' with the organization,” he said.
"We must fight terrorism in all its forms... and remember that youth does not earn exemption from punishment, in particular when it comes to serious crimes,” Azoulai stated.