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Jerusalem Bomber Gets Life + 60 Years

Hussein Kawasme headed a terror cell that set off a bomb that killed a British tourist in 2011 and injured 67 people.
By Gil Ronen
First Publish: 11/13/2013, 1:45 PM

Terrorists on trial (file)
Terrorists on trial (file)
Israel news photo: Flash 90
The Military Court in Judea sentenced terrorist Hussein Ali Kawasme to life and 60 additional years in jail.

Kawasme was the terrorist who initiated and planned a murderous attack that was executed on March 23, 2011, in Jerusalem. An explosive charge was detonated near Binyanei Hauma, the International Convention Center, near the western entrance to the city. The explosion killed Mary Jean Gardner, a British tourist. Another 67 people were injured.

The terrorist was convicted of a slew of other offenses, which he admitted to. After the Binyanei Hauma attack, he planned a suicide attack in the Pisgat Ze'ev neighborhood of Jerusalem, for which an explosive device was brought to Jerusalem. The attack never took place because of the arrest of two of the members of the cell that was to carry it out.

He also conspired to abduct an Israeli soldier or citizen in order to bring about a release of Arab terrorist prisoners.

The court sentenced Kawasme to life in jail for the Binyamnei Hauma attack, and to 60 additional years for the other offenses. The terrorist who actually planted the Binyanei Hauma bomb, Salah Arafa Tahir, received an identical sentence.

Another member of the terror cell was sentenced to nine years in jail for his part in conspiring to carry out the suicide attack that never materialized. Other members of the cell are still on trial.

Mary Gardner MFA website

A description of the Jerusalem attack appears on the IDF's Military Advocate General’s Corps website. It says Salah Tahir drove his car, with an explosive device which had been prepared by another member of the cell, to Jerusalem. He then took a taxi to Sacher park and from there continued by foot to the International Convention Center.

Upon arriving at his destination he put down a suitcase containing the explosive device and set the timer. He then took a taxi to another location.

Besides killing Gardner and injuring 67 people the resulting explosion and caused damage to the kiosk and vehicles that were nearby, especially the number 174 bus. Gardner, 55, worked for a Bible translation company and was to translate the Bible into the Ife tribal language, which is spoken in Benin and Togo. She had moved to Israel two months before the blast and was studying Hebrew.