Israel sentences Palestinian to 15.5 years in prison

An Israeli court has handed down a 15.5-year prison term to a Palestinian man for defending the Gaza Strip during the Tel Aviv regime’s 50-day military offensive against the blockaded sliver last summer.

According to reports on Tuesday, the Beersheba district court convicted 24-year-old Mohammed Abu Zaraj for allegedly trying to attack the Israeli soldiers last year.

Zaraj, a member of the Ezzedine al-Qassam Brigades, the military wing of the Palestinian resistance movement, Hamas, was detained on July 27, 2014 after he and a number of other Palestinian fighters “set explosive charges” on the way of an Israeli military convoy during the Gaza war, the court said.

“When [Israeli] soldiers neared the spot, they laid down heavy fire at the accused and members of the squad, which prevented (them)… setting off the charges or returning fire,” the court claimed.

Israel unleashed aerial attacks on Gaza in July 2014 and later expanded its military campaign with a ground invasion of the Palestinian coastal enclave.

Over 2,140 Palestinians, including 577 children, were killed in the 50-day onslaught. Over 11,100 others, including 3,374 children, 2,088 women and 410 elderly people, were also injured.

The assault also destroyed thousands of homes, leaving around 170,000 Palestinians displaced.

Gaza has been blockaded since 2007, which is a situation that has caused a decline in the standard of living, unprecedented levels of unemployment, and unrelenting poverty.

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