Court jails Tel Aviv bus bomber

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iol pic wld_ISRAEL-BOMBING-_0310_11 REUTERS Mohammed Mafarja, left, gestures as he sits in the dock during his sentencing at Tel Aviv district court. Picture: Nir Elias

Tel Aviv - A Tel Aviv court on Monday handed an Arab Israeli a 25-year prison term over the 2012 bombing of a bus during a major Israeli campaign in Gaza.

Mohammed Mafarja, 19, was sentenced three months after being convicted on charges of aiding the enemy during war, attempted murder, causing an explosion and wounding 24 people.

A resident of Taibe in central Israel, Mafarja boarded the Tel Aviv bus on November 21, 2012, and placed a bomb inside before getting off, according to the District Court.

Shortly afterwards it was triggered remotely by a cellphone used by his accomplice Ahmed Moussa, a Palestinian from the West Bank.

The two had decided “to carry out an attack to end the war in Gaza,” which began when Israel killed Hamas military commander Ahmed Jaabari on November 14, 2012, the court said in Monday's sentencing.

The Gaza conflict ended several hours after the explosion with an Egyptian-brokered truce, in a development unrelated to the attack.

The explosion left two people in moderate-to-serious condition, while another eight people were lightly wounded and 14 more suffered from shock. The blast damaged the bus and vehicles nearby.

The court also mentioned Islamic Jihad militant Mohammed Assi who planned the attack. Assi was shot dead during an Israeli attempt to arrest him near the West Bank city of Ramallah in October 2013.

Moussa's trial, which is being heard in a military court, is ongoing. - AFP


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