Prisoner Ibrahim Hamed was tried in a file amounting to 12,<> papers (Al-Jazeera)

Ibrahim Hamed was the commander of the Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades in the West Bank, born in 1965, graduated from Birzeit University, joined the Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas) in his twenties, and Israel accuses him of planning a series of commando operations that killed dozens of Israelis and wounded hundreds.

Israel pursued him for eight years before arresting him on May 8, 23. He was subjected to all kinds of physical and psychological torture, but he did not confess to anything, so his trial lasted 2006 years, and the largest judicial security file was submitted to the court, amounting to 6,12 papers, and sentenced to 54 life imprisonment.

Birth and upbringing

Ibrahim Jamil Abd al-Ghani Hamed was born on November 14, 1965, in the town of Silwad in the Ramallah governorate, a town known to be home to a large number of wanted persons, from which senior leaders left an imprint on the struggle scene, the most famous of which is Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal.

Ibrahim Hamed lived a normal life among his family members, as he was the tenth son of his family of 12 members, and his mother took care of raising him with his brothers after the death of his father following surgery, and Ibrahim was not more than three years old at the time, so he grew up with his mother and among his neighbors and the people of his neighborhood.

He was distinguished during his upbringing by a strong personality, seriousness, patience and endurance, and was one of the pioneers of mosques in his youth, an eloquent preacher and preacher.

The ABCs of resistance were not new to Ibrahim, as his family has a long history of fighting the occupier and fighting against it, as in 1973 his brother Abdul Rahim participated in the battles to retake the Syrian Golan and was martyred at the age of 25.

Ibrahim Hamed joined Hamas in his twenties (French)

Ibrahim is also an uncle and relative of a group of Hamed family youth detained by Israel and the Palestinian Authority, including his nephew Abdullah Munir Hamed, who was sentenced to life in prison, 30 years and a fine of 250,67 shekels (about $5,4), and accused with his cell of five resistance fighters, <> of them from the Hamed family, of carrying out a shooting attack in which an Israeli settler was killed. Ibrahim's sister Enaam describes her son, saying: "Two-thirds of the child belongs to his uncle, and Abdullah is influenced by his uncle Ibrahim and his uncle Abdul Rahim, who was martyred in the Golan.

Ibrahim married Asma Hamed in 1997, the daughter of Sheikh Abdul Razzaq Abdul Jalil Hamed, a Palestinian resistance fighter and an activist of the Muslim Brotherhood movement, as he fought with the resistance battles in 1936 against the British Mandate, and fought battles in 1948 against the Israeli occupation.

Rizk Ibrahim and Asma Baali in 1999 and Salma in 2001. Ibrahim's love for science prompted his wife to complete her education, as they married before she could study at university, so he insisted on her until she joined Birzeit University and graduated from political science.

Israeli forces arrested his wife, then deported her to Jordan, and prevented her children from following her at first, so their grandmother took care of them until they were able to join their mother after 3 months.

His wife endured raising and raising children in Jordan, working in their childhood to secure a life, and then leaving her job in their adolescence to devote herself to education and follow-up. His wife describes him as a compassionate, social and tolerant person, a preaching of compassion and brotherhood, an intellectual with a patriotic spirit.

Asma Hamed, wife of prisoner Ibrahim Hamed, to the right of his daughter Salma and to the left by his son Ali (Palestinian press)

Study and scientific training

He studied primary and preparatory school in his hometown's schools, then joined Ein Yabroud High School, where he obtained his high school diploma in 1985.

He completed his university studies at Birzeit University, where he graduated with a bachelor's degree in history and political science in 1992, after which he moved to Jordan to study an Arabic language diploma from the College of Jordan.

He then obtained a postgraduate diploma in history, and because of his passion for science and learning, he continued his path to a master's degree to teach the international relations program at the same university, but the arrest prevented him from discussing his thesis.

While studying for graduate studies, he joined the research center at his university, wrote and published scientific research, and devoted part of his research work to writing research on the history of the jihadist town of Silwad against the British occupation, chronicling that period and documenting it with video and recorded interviews. During his detention, he was known for his readings, knowledge and wide culture.

The Jihadist Experience

Hamed joined Hamas in his twenties, but he did not tell anyone about his activity, he met only a few people, and he did not use calls or messages, so he enjoyed high secrecy.

Ibrahim lived the first experience of detention as a university student in 1989, when the occupation forces detained him for 6 months, then released him, and then arrested him in 1991, sentenced him to 4 months in prison, and then arrested him again in 1995 for a year and a half.

His name began to become more prominent between 1994 and 1995, when it was proven to Shin Bet interrogators that Hamed belonged to Hamas, and they guessed that his work was limited to simple things such as planning demonstrations, confrontations and throwing Molotov cocktails, and they did not realize his role in the Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades.

The year 1998 was a milestone in the life of Ibrahim Hamed, specifically after the martyrdom of the two prominent commanders in the Qassam Brigades, Imad and Adel Awadallah, in an armed clash with the Israeli forces, when Israeli intelligence found that Ibrahim had become the commander of the battalions in the West Bank, so they raided his house trying to arrest him or access any evidence, finding only religious and historical books, and some of his photos.

At the end of the same year, the Israeli forces, through their operatives distributed in the West Bank and Ramallah, were able to monitor the movement of Ibrahim Hamed, and to find out his whereabouts in an apartment in Area A, an area under the sovereignty of the Palestinian Authority, when the investigators tried to obtain permission to raid the apartment and carry out the operation, but the Shin Bet leadership refused to do so so as not to be an infringement on the PA area, and the officers continued to monitor him remotely through the Shin Bet operatives in Ramallah.

The PA began to follow up on his activities during the same period, arresting him in 1999 and subjecting him to the harshest forms of torture, and it is reported that he refused to confess anything, and that he spat in the face of the head of the Preventive Security Service at the time, Jibril Rajoub. With the start of the second intifada, the Palestinian Authority released the detainees as a result of attacks on its premises by the occupying forces.

File photo of the bombing of an Israeli bus in Jerusalem (Getty Images)

Qualitative operations

The release of leaders from PA prisons, including Ibrahim Hamed, constituted a qualitative leap in the work of Hamas and its military apparatus, which developed its ability to confront Israel, so it began to work in an organized manner by recruiting and training engineers and martyrs, and the Qassam Brigades began at that time to manufacture explosive devices.

Ibrahim Hamed led the Ramallah Group and was joined by Abdullah Barghouti, who has experience in manufacturing explosives, and carried out strong strikes against Israel through martyrdom operations in cafes and buses, planting explosive devices and booby-trapping cars, targeting military checkpoints and settlers, in addition to other qualitative operations.

Among the most prominent of these operations, which Israel accuses him of being behind are:

Operation Cafe Moment

The attack was carried out by the martyr Fuad al-Hourani in the Moment Café in Jerusalem on March 2002, 75, a café only 11 meters from the home of then Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, and Fouad was able to blow himself up in the café, killing 65 Israelis and wounding <> others.

Operation Rishon Lezion

Or what Israel calls the Sheffield nightclub operation, an operation carried out by the martyr Muhammad Jamil Odeh at the Sheffield nightclub in the industrial zone of Tel Aviv, on May 2023, 15, which killed 60 Israelis and injured <> others.

Targeting the railway line

The first was near the city of Lod in June 2002, and the second near Tel Aviv in July 2002, and the two operations aimed to detonate explosive devices and derail trains.

Hebrew University Process

Several members of the Qassam Brigades at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem on July 31, 2002, carried out a bomb into the cafeteria of the Faculty of Law, withdrew from the scene and detonated the bomb from a distance, killing nine Israelis and wounding 9 others.

Targeting B Glilut Station

An operation aimed at blowing up the B Glilot station in Tel Aviv, a station containing containers with 430 tons of gas, and 80 million liters of fuel, and the operation occurred on the seventh of August 2002 by planting an explosive device in a tank heading towards the station, and then detonating the tank inside the station, but when the tank exploded, its front exploded without exploding the tank, so there was no large explosion, and the station workers were able to control the fire.

However, this operation was considered successful by the standards of the Qassam Brigades and the Shin Bet, as it is sufficient to be able to pass a device to the station without detecting it in a security-equipped place, and one Shin Bet interrogator commented on the operation by saying, "Ibrahim's misfortune is what saved us," especially since the station is located several kilometers from Israeli intelligence bases and headquarters.

The Shin Bet failed to stop the flood of operations or to capture Hamed Ibrahim, whom it accuses of planning everything that happened, when Israel accused him of establishing a group of military cells that are active in operations, according to the investigators' estimate at the time, Hamed established 100 sleeper cells in the West Bank, some of which were active in various operations. One of the most important cells accused of founding is the Silwan cell, which was active in Jerusalem and carried out and participated in several commando operations that led to the killing of Israeli settlers and soldiers.

Prisoner Ibrahim Hamed in a trial session (French)


With the escalation of the Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades targeting Israel, Ibrahim Hamed topped the list of those wanted for arrest or assassination. The eight-year manhunt began, during which Israeli forces tried everything possible to reach him but were unsuccessful, and one Shin Bet interrogator comments on this period, "Ibrahim is the person who made us a laughing stock for a decade."

On one occasion, the Shin Bet planned a complex operation involving the storming of 20 strategic Hamas sites, ascertaining that Ibrahim Hamed would be in one of these positions, but the operation ended in an armed clash at one of the sites and a number of resistance fighters were killed without reaching Hamid.

During his pursuit, in February 2003, the occupation arrested Ibrahim's wife, her brother Hamza, and Ibrahim's four brothers in an attempt to pressure the family to provide information leading to his whereabouts.

The detained family members were transferred to a detention center in Beit El for a week, then his brother-in-law Hamza was transferred to the Russian Compound detention center, where he experienced various types of torture to give information about Ibrahim, but because he did not respond to them, they deported him to Jordan.

The childhood of Ali and Salma, Ibrahim's sons, did not prevent them from being interrogated, so they underwent interrogation sessions to give information about their father, and intimidation, carrot and threats were used with them, but the occupation did not reach anything.

After interrogation and interrogation, Asmaa was transferred to Ramle prison, where she was held for eight months without charge or trial, with the aim of the arrest to pressure Ibrahim, and Asmaa was deprived of visiting her sons throughout her detention.

During this period, the Shin Bet was preparing papers for the deportation of Asmaa from the West Bank, as after he was unable to reach Ibrahim, one of the interrogators suggested arresting his wife and deporting her for two reasons: the first was the fear of the Shin Bet interrogators that Ibrahim would be able to have more children at a time when his commando operations were still killing Israelis, and the other thing was that deporting his wife to Jordan might lead to him, because he would try to communicate with her, and because he does not use the phone at all, the Shin Bet estimated that the method of communication would be via e-mail.

Indeed, the Shin Bet monitored emails between Ibrahim and his wife, and the Internet was available at that time in private cafes, so the Shin Bet began monitoring Internet cafes to find out who was transmitting the messages from Ibrahim.

According to investigators, the person made several mistakes that led to attention and surveillance, as he turned around and moved randomly on the roads, then took someone with him in the car, tried to dodge between the roads, and then got off the person who rode on the road. Shin Bet interrogators found that the person who gets in and off is Ibrahim Hamed, and the driver is his assistant who delivers messages to him.

On Tuesday, May 23, 2006, at dawn, the Israeli occupation forces, reinforced by the Al-Yamam Division, stormed the Al-Balou' area in Ramallah, surrounded a house near the house of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, the house where Ibrahim entered after he got into the car, and began their attack by firing incendiary grenades, and after 3 hours they were able to arrest Ibrahim Hamed without armed clash, because the operation was sudden.

Investigation and trial

The interrogators were unable to extract a confession from Ibrahim despite the use of all means of psychological and physical torture with him, the prisoner Walid Khaled narrates that a month after the arrest of Ibrahim Hamed, his lawyer asked to meet him, the Israelis denied the existence of a person in his name, so he became angry and revolted in their faces, so the chief of investigators came to him and said, "Ibrahim Hamed is in the cell, come convince him to confess to us that his name is Ibrahim Hamed", and Ibrahim came out of the investigation without any confessions and was isolated solitary for 7 years, 6 of which were during a period Trial.

Ibrahim Hamed's mother holds his picture and those of his children and awaits her son's release (French)

The Qassami commander's trial lasted six years before the verdict was pronounced, and the court convicted him of the charges against him without confessing a word, relying solely on military prosecutors and interrogation warrants submitted by Israeli intelligence.

The court in previous sessions rejected these investigations and claimed that they were incorrect, according to his lawyer Saleh Mahamid, but it returned and confessed to them and promised them sufficient papers to issue the verdict, and the court based Hamed's file on the confessions of other prisoners, including the prisoner Muhammad Irfan, from whom the confessions were extracted under torture, and Irfan admits that he has medical reports indicating his poor health, deterioration, fainting during interrogation and torture when the confession was extracted from him.

In one of the trial sessions, when the file was presented to the judiciary, one of the defense representatives said, "Judges, I present to you today the largest security file in the history of our state. He is the most dangerous prisoner in our prisons, more than 78 Israelis were killed in the bloodiest operation in our history. And if you ask who he is, I tell you: he is Ibrahim Hamed. Therefore, all the martyrdom operations that came out of Ramallah are the ones for which he bears responsibility."

The court procrastinated the verdict in response to the request of the Israeli prosecution, until his trial was considered the longest trial, during which the prison administration subjected him to solitary confinement, and exerted all kinds of psychological pressure and medical negligence on him, as he suffered from vitamin B12 deficiency, a fracture in his teeth, and pain in his knee that prevented him from even praying, and he became performing it sitting on a chair.

Israel charged him with a judicial security file, the largest in Israel's history, amounting to 12,78 papers, in addition to the recordings of investigators, and Israel accuses him of planning commando and martyrdom operations that led to the death of at least <> Israelis and the injury of hundreds of others, and he was also charged with planning to carry out operations targeting thousands of Israelis.

He was sentenced to 54 life imprisonment, equivalent to 5400,7 years, the second largest prison sentence in Palestine and the world, and kept in solitary confinement for <> years, during which he was prevented from visiting his family and family.

Israel refuses to put his name on the prisoner exchange list and refuses to compromise his exit under any circumstances.

What did Israel say about him?

The Shin Bet classified him as "the most dangerous man and mastermind of major commando operations," and the intelligence described him as a "ghost" for his ability to hide and hide, a "legend" and a "phoenix" because, they claim, he resembles the myth that the phoenix is able to automatically repair itself and rise back in full force after turning into ashes.

They also described him as "the strategic mind planned for the activities of Hamas's military wing during the Al-Aqsa Intifada," and described him as a disciplined person with the ability to operate with great secrecy, caution and secrecy.

Detective Ronnie Mona of Hamas said, "Hamas Ramallah is a completely different story, it's actually about one person whose face no one has seen for a long time. They call him Ibrahim Hamed."

Gunin Ben-Yitzhak, an interrogator and former Shin Bet officer, said, "Ibrahim Hamed became so obsessed with me that I dreamed of pursuing him, but he managed all the time to escape me and disappear from my sight."

Maj. Gen. Rony Numa, commander of the occupation army in Ramallah, also said of him, "He succeeded in surviving the best security systems in the world."

One Shin Bet officer said of him, "We have been a laughing stock for a decade."

Source : Al Jazeera + Websites