Saffouri and Khalil at court
Photo: Shai Vaaknin

Israeli Arab convicted of plotting assassinations

Anis Saffouri of Shfaram pleads guilty to aiding and abetting the enemy, conspiracy to commit murder as part of plea bargain. State asks for maximum sentence of 15 years

Cleared for publication: Anis Saffouri (20) of the northern town of Shfaram was convicted Wednesday of multiple conspiracy charges in connection with a plot to murder Israeli pilots and scientists.


Saffouri was convicted of aiding and abetting the enemy, conspiracy to aid the enemy, unlawful affiliation, conspiracy to commit murder and weapons chrages, as part of a plea bargain struck with the State Prosecutor's Office.


The Northern District Prosecution asked that he be sentenced to 15 years in prison – the maximum sentence in the Penal Code for such offenses.


Saffouri's accomplice and cousin, Hussam Khalil, was convicted of one count of conspiracy to provide services to an illegal organization.


Saffouri, Khalil and three other men were arrested in August of 2008 by the Shin Bet. They were charged with plotting to assassinate Israeli pilots, scientists and university lecturers by order of the Jamaat al-Islamiya movement, affiliated with Islamic Jihad.


According to the indictment, the cell also plotted to attack soldiers posted at the Attara checkpoint, near the West Bank city of Ramallah.


The case and trial were placed under a comprehensive gag order, partially lifted this week.


"The defendant has shown no remorse for his actions, which he state were meant to exert vengeance on Israel for its actions in the Palestinian territories," said the prosecution in its sentencing request.


"The only remorse he has demonstrated pertained to the fact that he is to be punished for his actions, indicating that he is likely to repeat them."


The defense, on the other hand, argued that it was Saffouri's personal circumstances which "led him to be lured into an affiliation with a political movement." The defense asked the court to apply the minimal mandatory sentence of nine years for similar offenses.


Anis Saffouri's father, Jamil Saffouri, is one of the suspects implicated in the lynching of Jewish terrorist Edan Nathan-Zada in Shfaram.


פרסום ראשון: 03.11.09, 18:36
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