Three members of a Jewish terror cell, who were found guilty earlier this month of attempted murder were handed sentences on Tuesday ranging from 12 to 15 years behind bars.
The Jerusalem District Court sentenced two of them to 15 years each, while a third man was handed a reduced 12-year term because he "cooperated with investigators."
The three, all residents of the West Bank settlement of Bat
Ayin, had been convicted of trying to set off a bomb near a girls' school in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Abu Tur and illegal weapons possession.
Their defense attorney complained about the sentence, saying that Palestinian would-be suicide bombers are given lighter sentences than his clients.
During the trial, the defendants maintained that they had not intended to detonate the bomb, but only to attract media attention and frighten the Palestinian population, to serve as a deterrent. However, the judges unanimously rejected their claim.
In their verdict, the judges wrote that the three terror cell members "decided to commit a major terror attack that would cause many casualties among the Arab residents of East Jerusalem by means of a booby-trapped cart that they
prepared and left in a crowded place, at the entrance to a girls school and to Mokassad Hospital in East Jerusalem."
During their interrogations, the verdict continued, the three "made many detailed statements that included confessions of having committed the crimes attributed to them".
"The defendants worked for months to prepare the bomb and put it together, held discussions about the bomb's composition ... [and] took the trouble to conduct exploratory missions in order to find an 'attractive' site at which to set off the bomb and to determine an appropriate time, one at which there are a large number of passersby at the site," the judges wrote.
"...The site destined for the attack was picked with care. There are no police or Border Police patrols there, and Jews avoid it."
Two other people suspected of belonging to this terror cell, nicknamed "Bat Ayin cell" are being tried separately.
It is noteworthy to add that in many instances in the past, Jewish terrorists, who committed crimes against Palestinian people, were eventually given early pardon by Israeli authorities. (Albawaba.com)
© 2003 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com )