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Home >> World
UPDATED: 10:16, September 23, 2005
Israeli court convicts Hamas leader of masterminding two deadly attacks
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An Israeli court on Thursday convicted a Hamas leader in the West Bank of masterminding two deadly attacks on Israeli targets, the Ha'aretz reported on its website.

The Tel Aviv District Court found Abbas al-Sayed guilty of overseeing two attacks including a 2002 suicide bombing attack on Park Hotel in Netanya, north of Tel Aviv, in which more than 30 people were killed.

Following the hotel attack, the Israeli army launched Protective Shield operation and reoccupied all Palestinian towns in the West Bank.

Al-Sayed, 39, was convicted of murdering 35 Israelis as well as attempted murder and belonging to a "terror organization."

Additional counts in his conviction were obtaining arms and large sums of money from the Syrian Hamas headquarters.

Prosecutor Zmira Goldner said she intended to ask the court for 35 consecutive life terms and additional jail sentences for dozens of wounded people in the attacks.

Al-Sayed, however, told the court that Shin Bet (Israeli National Security Service) interrogators had extracted his confessions by torture.

He rejected the prosecution's allegations, saying that he was not a military commander and he had only organized parades and acted as a liaison with the press.

Al-Sayed was arrested by Israeli security forces in May 2002.

Prosecutors said he sent a suicide bomber to the Park Hotel dressed up as a woman, wearing a 10 kg explosives-laden belt. He was also accused of sending a videotape of the suicide bomber to the media.

Sentence will take place in November.

Source: Xinhua


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