An Israeli military court sentenced two young Bethlehem men to 21 life terms and additional 15 Ahmed Salah from Deheisha Refugee Camp, 24, and Zaher Mekdad from Bethlehem City, 26, were arrested three years ago.

According to the decision of an Israeli Tribunal, composed of three judges, “the two young men perpetrated outrageous, illegal and dangerous terrorist acts which led to the killing of dozens of Israelis and injuring more.”

The young men are accused of affiliation with the Al Aqsa Brigades, the armed wing of Fateh movement.

While resisting occupation is legitimate under the international law, the Israeli court said that because of their acts the Palestinians “must be given the maximum prosecution.”

It was recently uncovered that the two young men were offered a “Proclamation of Penitence” for their acts of resistance. Ahmed replied that his acts were not that of terrorism, but part of the struggle to liberate his homeland. He said, “The biggest problem in the Middle East is the ongoing existence of Israeli occupation, which proves day after day to be a monstrously cancerous tumor that is destroying the health of the entire region.”

Zaher Mekdad told the court when given his chance to speak, “The Palestinian people and all the forces are defending themselves in the face of continuing Israeli aggression against the Palestinian people”.

He further pointed out, “The occupier is who engages in terrorism, and the current situation is perfect evidence of that. What is being inflicted upon Lebanon and the Gaza Strip, where hundreds of elderly, women and children are killed and injured, is purposeful targeting of the helpless and powerless. And that is in addition to destroying bridges and houses, and anything relating to infrastructure, without any deterrent.

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