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From Boxer to Terrorist: Israeli Arab, Former Boxer for Betar Team, Sentenced to Life Imprisonment

A 29-year-old Israeli Arab who once represented Israel at International boxing tournaments, was sentenced to life imprisonment by a military tribunal in Lydoa today for terrorist activities and armed infiltration into Israel. Hamza Ibrahim Yunis, who was born in Ara village in an Arab area of central Israel, was captured with four other terrorists last Aug. when an Israeli naval unit intercepted a motorboat carrying large quantities of explosives and bazookas. His co-defendant, Abdul Nawia, was sentenced to 25 years. Two other terrorists captured with them will be tried at a later date.

Yunis was once a member of the Betar boxing team which often represented Israel abroad. In 1964 he was involved in a street fight and fled to the Gaza Strip where he allegedly became a Hebrew translator for Egyptian intelligence, joined a terrorist organization as an instructor and was later made head of a terrorist naval commando unit. According to the charges, the motorboat Yunis commanded was to have fired bazooka shells at Nahariya, an Israeli coastal city.