Mastermind of Park Hotel terror attack: No regrets
Abbas al-Sayad, who was sentenced to 35 consecutive life sentences for planning two terror attacks that killed 35 Israelis, arrives in court for hearing on his appeal. 'This is about resisting the occupation,' he says. Victim's wife: He should be sentenced to death
As the public debate surrounding the possibility of releasing hundreds of Palestinian terrorists in exchange for captive IDF soldier Gilad Shalit heats up, one of the arch-terrorists Israel is refusing to include in any prisoner exchange said he does not regret his actions.
Abbas al-Sayad, the Hamas terrorist who was convicted of planning the terror attacks in Netanya's Park Hotel (March 2002) and Sharon shopping mall (May 2001), which claimed the lives of 35 people, told Ynet Monday, "This is about resisting the occupation. What about the other side? Many more Palestinians were killed (in the conflict) than Israelis. This is the complexity of the conflict."
Al-Sayad, who was sentenced to 35 consecutive life sentences and an additional 50-year prison term, appealed his conviction and subsequent sentence to the Supreme Court, citing police and Shin Bet officers exercised undue force and therefore his admissions must be dismissed.
The State says there was sufficient evidence for a conviction regardless of whether the terrorist's admissions are valid or not.
The relatives of some of the victims of the Park Hotel attack arrived at the courtroom on Monday. "We expect only the death sentence for mass murderers," said the wife of Amiram Hamami, one of the victims. "We came here to see how al-Sayad shows no remorse, and appears in court well-groomed and proud. We want everyone to see how we treat terrorists instead of giving them the punishment (they deserve)," Corinne Hamami said.
Corinne Shimon Ben-Aroya, whose husband Shimon was also killed in the attack, said she was "offended" by the fact that (al-Sayad) has been given the opportunity to appeal.
"It shocks me that such a murderer can come here (court) for a day of fun after being released from his convalescent home, where he is protected and fed," she said.
Addressing the Shalit issue, Ben-Aroya said, "It is difficult for me on an emotional level. On the one hand Gilad is far from home, but on the other hand I'm having a hard time accepting the government's helplessness and the fact that Hamas is - in essence - toying with us. I'm just glad I'm not among those who have to make the decisions."
The hearing on al-Sayad's appeal did not take place because the terrorist's attorney, Avigdor Feldman, did not show up.
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