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Remembering A Bus Attack

First Publish: 1/5/2004, 3:39 PM / Last Update: 1/5/2004, 5:38 PM

The Haifa District Court rejected an appeal yesterday by relatives of victims murdered in the terrorist bombing of bus #37 in Haifa last March. The attack was planned and facilitated by Israeli-Arabs.

Family members of the 17 murder victims of the suicide bombing on the #37 bus in Haifa last March appealed the plea-bargain agreement reached with Munir Rajbi. A resident of Haifa, Rajbi helped the suicide bomber carry out the massacre in which 12 of the victims were under age 20. The families protested the dropping of the charges of conspiracy to commit murder, but the judge said that Rajbi's conviction of "aiding and abetting the enemy" did not violate the families' rights.

A representative of each family was given the chance to speak in court. Hagit Mendelovich, whose son Yuval, 13, was murdered in the blast, said, "How many people even remember [this] bombing? 96 buses have been blown up by terrorists since the start of the Oslo War. If you don't remember [this one], it's because we have learned to be slaughtered - with no one to prevent it." She expressed her disappointment in the lack of deterrence inherent in any sentence short of the death penalty. Asking the court to hand down a sentence that would both avenge and deter, she said, "If the prosecution does not ask for the death penalty for reasons of its own, at least let this man never see the light of day again."