Daily Israel Report

Released Terrorist Denies Connection to Tel Aviv Attack

Jamal Tirawi, who was released by an Israeli court, denies he sent a suicide bomber to a Tel Aviv café in 2002.
By Elad Benari
First Publish: 5/9/2013, 5:14 AM

Aftermath of suicide bombing attack
Aftermath of suicide bombing attack
Flash 90

A terrorist released by an Israeli court this week has denied that he sent a suicide bomber to a Tel Aviv café in 2002.

The Military Court of Appeals ruled on Monday that Jamal Tirawi, formerly a member of the Al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigade terror group and currently a member of the Palestinian Legislative Council on behalf of Fatah, would be released, explaining that Israel had violated an agreement with the Palestinian Authority in which it agreed not to arrest Tirawi.

Tirawi was convicted of sending the suicide bomber who carried out the terrorist attack in the “My Coffee Shop” on Allenby Street in Tel Aviv in March of 2002. An Israeli woman, Rachel Tcherkhi, was killed in the bombing and 29 others were wounded.

However, Tirawi now denies that he had even been involved in planning the attack.

“This is a false claim,” he told Channel 10 News on Wednesday. “According to my ideology, this concept does not make sense.”

“I completely deny [involvement in the attack],” he stressed. “I’ve never sent any suicide bomber, I’ll never send one, and I have no connection to these things.”

Tirawi had a message for Tcherkhi’s family, saying he wished to express condolences over her death.

"This is the price of war, people get hurt,” he said. “This woman was not fighting in the Israeli army, she was a passerby, so I extend my condolences to her family.”

Tirawi, who said that a meeting was planned between him and Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas, claimed in the interview that he is in favor of peace.

“I will never even think of murder,” he claimed.