The Jerusalem Magistrates Court convicted Tuesday a Palestinian of plotting to assassinate Shas party’s spiritual leader, Rabbi Ovadia Yosef.
Moussa Darwish, a resident of the village of Isawiah, located north of Jerusalem, was convicted in the framework of a plea bargain in which he admitted that he planned to murder the prominent rabbi.
Darwish was convicted of assisting the enemy at a time of war, belonging to a terror organization and throwing Molotov cocktail bottles at an Israeli car that was traveling along the Jerusalem-Maale Adumim road.
His sentence has not been determined as of yet.
Darwish joined the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine in 2000 while working in a vegetable store located near Ovadia Yosef’s home. Darwish even made deliveries to the rabbi’s home and therefore new exactly where his security guards and cameras were positioned.
Terror cells in north Jerusalem
In 2004 Darwish suggested to another Popular Front member that they open fire at Yosef while riding a motorcycle, and in December of the same year the two drove to Jerusalem’s Givat Shaul neighborhood as preparation for the assassination.
In the beginning of 2005 Darwish and his accomplice were supposed to receive ammunition from a fellow terrorist at the Shuafat checkpoint, but IDF presence in the area botched the transfer of bullets, and Darwish’s plan was foiled.
The affair was cleared for publication in April 2005, at which time it was reported that the Shin Bet arrested three Arab-Israeli residents of north Jerusalem for suspicion of plotting to kill Yosef.
Salah Hamouri, 20, and Muatztaf Sheikh, 25, were arrested along with Darwish.
An interrogation of the three revealed that they had set up Popular Front cells in several north Jerusalem neighborhoods that distributed flyers with information on the terror organization’s activities.
The three were in close contact with senior Popular Front members incarcerated in the Jericho Prison following the murder of former Israeli Tourism Minister Rehavam Zeevi. The also purchased weapons and ammunition and plotted to carry out terror attacks against Israeli targets in the Jerusalem area.