A military court Tuesday handed down a sentence of three life terms in prison for the Hamas mastermind terrorist who planned and helped carry out the kidnapping and murders of three yeshiva students last summer.
Three life sentences make it less likely that the terrorist, Hussam Hassan Kawasame, will be eligible for parole, but that does not mean Israelis can feel safe that he will be behind bars for life.
A life sentence in Israel does not really mean spending one’s life in prison, unless you are Yigal Amir, who is in jail, where he should stay forever, for the assassination of Prime Minister Yitzchak Rabin. Most “lifers” win parole or, if they are terrorists, like Samir Kuntar, usually are freed.
Kuntar is from Lebanon and is considered of having carried out one of the most brutal terrorist attacks in 1979 when he murdered a father in front if his 4-year-old daughter and then killer by smashing her skull against beach rocks.
He was sentenced to life but released in 2008 as part of a deal for the Ehud Goldwasser and Eldad Regev, in return of the bodies of two Israel reservists, who were kidnapped and murdered by Hezbollah terrorists in 2006.
Kawasame, the Hamas terrorist sentenced on Tuesday, was behind the kidnap-murders of Naftali Fraenkel, Gil-Ad Shaer and Eyal Yifrah in June. He pocketed $75,000 given to him by his superiors in Gaza to buy weapons for his co-terrorists.
The death sentenced in legal in Israel but never has been carried out, except in the case of Nazi war criminal Adolf Eichmann.
Kawasame did not testify at the sentencing, but the IDF prosecutor told the court that the terrorist had said that the yeshiva boys were not human beings and could be killed because they were Jews.
The other two terrorists who participated in the kidnap-murders were killed in a clash with the IDF last September.
The mastermind, who is considered to be human, is alive.