Photo Credit: Kobi Richter/TPS
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Sa’adi al-Ghrabli, a Hamas terrorist who was sentenced to life in prison for a 1994 terrorist attack, died in an Israeli hospital Wednesday morning of terminal cancer.

Al-Ghrabli, 74 and the father of 10 from the Gaza Strip, was serving a life term for the brutal murder of David Mashali.


This was the fifth time he was imprisoned in Israel for acts of terrorism.

The Israel Prison Service (IPS) stated that al- Ghrabli had first been treated at its medical facility and was transferred on Sunday to Kaplan Hospital, where he died.

The Palestinian Authority’s (PA) official WAFA news agency, which reported prematurely on his death on Sunday, said that he died of prostate cancer.

The PA’s Detainees Commission alleged that the IPS had refused several appeals to move him to the Ramla prison clinic for treatment and “left him in his cell causing a serious setback to his health until he was said to be in a coma before pronouncing him dead.”

The family of IDF officer Lt. Hadar Goldin, who was killed during Operation Protective Edge in the summer of 2014 and whose body is held by the terrorist organization, demanded al-Ghrabli’s body not be returned to Gaza for burial, as per the government’s decision on the issue.

Israel has a stated policy of not turning over the bodies of terrorists to Gaza as long as Hamas is holding onto the bodies of Goldin and Oron Shaul, who was likewise killed in the counter-terrorism operation.

“The Cabinet’s decisions require that the government not to turn over Hamas-identified terrorists for burial, and this [al-Ghrabli] is one of Hamas’ heavy prisoners,” the family stated.

“Considering cases that have already occurred in the past, we found it necessary to turn to all the parties involved so that Israel will continue to hold onto the terrorist until the return of the soldiers and civilians from Gaza,” the family underscored.

The government has apparently previously breached its own policy on this issue.

Goldin, of the elite Givati Reconnaissance Unit, was killed and abducted by Hamas during a battle with terrorists. Two other IDF soldiers also died in the incident. The battle ensued hours after an UN-sponsored ceasefire came into effect.

Shaul was killed in battle together with another six Golani soldiers in Shajaiya when their armored personnel carrier was hit by an anti-tank rocket. His body was never recovered and is assumed to be held by Hamas.

Hamas is also holding Israeli citizens Avera Mengistu and Hisham al-Sayed who crossed the border into Gaza several years ago.

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Aryeh Savir is director of the International division of Tazpit News Agency.