An Israeli military court on Tuesday handed three life sentences to a Palestinian militant convicted of organising the kidnapping and murder of three Israeli settlers .
Hossam Qawasme was also ordered to pay 250,000 shekels ($63,000/53,000 euros) in compensation to each of the three families at a hearing at Ofer military court near the West Bank city of Ramallah.
Qawasme was arrested in connection with organising and financing the June 12 kidnapping of the three settlers that triggered a series of events which led to a deadly 50-day assault on Gaza.
"The accused was convicted of the most serious crimes .. the cold-blooded and terrible murder of three young people who were going home to their families," court documents said.
"As a result of his actions, the accused is sentenced to three life terms. He will be removed from society and spend the rest of his life in prison. In addition he will pay compensation of 250,000 shekels to each of the families of the youths."
His two accomplices, Amer Abu Eisha, 32, and Marwan Qawasme, 29, who carried out the attack, were both shot dead during an exchange of fire with the Israeli army in the southern West Bank city of Hebron in late September.
Israel's assault on Gaza, which started on 8 July, killed at least 2,133 Palestinians and wounded more than 11,000
On the Israeli side, 68 people were killed, all but four of them soldiers.
*This story was edited by Ahram Online.