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News and views on Israel, Zionism and the war on terrorism.

February 02, 2003

Two Nazareth residents sentenced to 5 years for planning attack

And from Virtueal Jerusalmen News.com this item.
Nazareth Magistrates Court on Thursday sentenced two Israelis to five years in prison for engaging in contact with a hostile agent, attempting to smuggle arms and making plans to carry out a suicide bombing in Afula.

Arij Shehabri, 25, and Amin Sherare, 21, both residents of Nazareth, also received a two-year suspended sentence. The two had pleaded innocent to the charges.

The activities of Shehabri and Sherare were uncovered following the IDF's Defensive Shield operation in April 2002. A Fatah operative known as "Samer" was arrested in the Jenin refugee camp during this IDF action and told Shin Bet investigators about his contacts with the two Nazareth residents, dating back to 1998.

A week before Samer's arrest in mid-April, Shehabri and Sherare told Samer that they wanted to help the Palestinians in the territories in "their struggle against the State of Israel" and had begun to examine various options for terror attacks. As part of this planning, they studied the security arrangements at the "Ha'emakim" mall in Afula.

Samer asked the two to procure weapons for him and Shehabri approached a 17-year-old with this request. The teenager told Shehabri that he could sell her an M-16 rifle for 25,000 shekels. Shehabri passed along the teenager's phone number to Samer and suggested that Samer contact him directly.

Meanwhile, Sherare also asked some relatives if they could procure weapons for him, but nothing came of this.