The Tel Aviv District Court sentenced Ashraf Qaisi to five consecutive life sentences with an additional 20 years Thursday, after he was convicted for driving the suicide bomber who blew up Tel Aviv's Stage Club in February 2005.
Qaisi was convicted on five counts of murder, aggravated assault, weapons charges and contacting a foreign agent.
In their ruling, the judges noted, "The defendant, a citizen and resident of the State of Israel, has joined forces with our most bitter enemies in order to carry out as many murders as possible. He aided the members of an organization that seeks to destroy us, and fully cooperated with them to help them go ahead with their vicious plan."
The terror attack took place on a Saturday night, when a suicide bomber blew himself up at the entrance to the Stage club near Tel Aviv's promenade. Four people were killed in the blast, and a fifth victim died of her wounds in the hospital several days later. About 50 people were wounded in the explosion.
Qaisi was convicted, among other things, of picking the spot for the attack, approaching the Islamic Jihad and even providing the terror cell with instructions on how to assemble the suicide belt.
The court found that Qaisi had picked up the suicide bomber, and drove him to Tel Aviv, in exchange for money and while being fully aware of the implications of his actions.
Qaisi, an Israeli-Arab from the village of Baka al-Gharbiya, admitted in his investigation that he led the suicide bomber to the club's entrance, but claimed that he did so out of dire financial need.