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Court Sentences Palestinian to 30 Years in Soldier’s Kidnapping

August 2, 1996

LOD, Israel (AP) _ An Israeli military court today sentenced an Islamic militant to 30 years in prison for his role in the 1994 kidnapping of an Israeli soldier later killed during a rescue raid by Israeli commandos.

Jihad Yaghmour, 29, admitted he bought the skullcaps and black hats used by the kidnappers to disguise themselves as observant Jews and lure the hitchhiking soldier, Nachshon Waxman, into their car.

Yaghmour also drove the car and rented the video camera the kidnappers used to broadcast Waxman’s plea for help around the world. He obtained the safe house in a West Bank village where Waxman was killed during a rescue raid by Israeli commandos in October 1994.

Three kidnappers and one Israeli commando also died. Yaghmour was arrested in his Jerusalem home before the raid.

Yaghmour said he did not regret his actions, but described the verdict as a ``miscarriage of justice.″

He had claimed the kidnappers did not intend to kill Waxman and said their captive was killed by fragments of a grenade thrown by the Israeli rescuers.

The kidnappers, members of the Islamic militant group Hamas, had demanded the release of the group’s spiritual leader, Sheik Ahmed Yassin, from Israeli jails in exchange releasing Waxman.

Asked whether he hoped other militants would stage a new kidnapping to win his freedom, Yaghmour said: ``Yes.″

The kidnapping came only six months after the Palestinian Authority was established. It sparked a showdown between PLO Chairman Yasser Arafat and then-Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin that ended with the botched raid.

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