Israeli Arab pleads guilty to Tel Aviv bombing

Israeli Arab pleads guilty to role in Pillar of Defense terror bombing in Tel Aviv as part of plea bargain

An Israeli Arab pleaded guilty on Monday to planting a bomb on a Tel Aviv bus a year ago, during Operation Pillar of Defense, an Israeli court said Monday.


The bomb detonated as the bus was driving near the Israeli defense ministry, wounding around 30 people.


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The Tel Aviv District court accepted a plea deal from Mohammed Mafarja, 19, and convicted him of attempted murder, attempting to assist the enemy and assault, the ruling said.


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Mafarja, who was accused of working on behalf of Hamas, will be sentenced at a later date, the court said.


(צילום: עופר עמרם)

Bus following explosion (Photo: Gal Sabag)


(צילום: יואל פלדמן )

Blood on the scene (Photo: Yoel Feldman)


In October, IDF forces killed one of the terrorist behind the attack. Acording to reports at the time, special forces arrived at the Palestinian village of Naima, located near Bilin in the West Bank, in order to arrest wanted Palestinians. One of the terrorists barricaded himself inside a cave near the village and exchanged fire with IDF soldiers who encircled him for hours. The terrorist was eventually killed when the IDF force fired two anti-tank missiles into the cave. 


The Shin Bet internal security service said the Palestinian was Mohammed Assi, one of the terrorists who planned the bombing attack.


The cave where terrorist hid

The cave where terrorist hid


At the time of the origianl bombing, Ynet reported that a massive blast occurred at on bus line 142 on Shaul Hamelech Street - at the heart of Tel Aviv, near the Kirya military compound, and said that twenty-eight people were injured; two people sustained moderate to serious injuries, while the rest were lightly wounded and four people suffered shock.


At the time the security establishment estimated that whoever orchestrated the attack was not a member of a known terror organization.


Yoni Yossef of ZAKA was one of the first people to arrive at the scene. "There were panic and chaos," he said; "People were lying outside the bus. Paramedics started to arrive. People aren’t used to this. It's taking us years back."


Tomer Simon, an eye witness, recounted: "There was a horrible explosion; we were sure at first that it’s a hit on Tel Aviv and the sirens just didn’t go off. I opened my office window and saw the bus crushed."


Simon added: "I ran and tried to help those who were injured as much as I could. All the windows of the bus were smashed."


Reuters contributed to this report



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פרסום ראשון: 12.02.13, 19:31
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