Barghouti Found Guilty of Three Attacks, Out of 37

Fatah Tanzim terrorist leader Marwan Barghouti was found guilty today of three terror attacks, involving the deaths of five Israelis. The court found that he was only "indirectly" responsible for some 30 other attacks.

, | updated: 12:50

Fatah Tanzim terrorist leader Marwan Barghouti was found guilty today of three terror attacks, involving the deaths of five Israelis. Barghouti was also found guilty of planning a fourth attack and of membership in a terrorist organization. The Tel Aviv District court acquitted him of 33 other attacks, stating that the evidence against him in those cases was lacking.

The terror leader was found to have personally authorized and organized the Sea Food Market attack by two terrorists in Tel Aviv in which three Jews were killed in March 2002; the murder of Yoela Chen at a Givat Ze'ev gas station in January 2002; and the attack in which a Greek Orthodox monk was murdered on the highway to Maaleh Adumim in June 2001. Barghouti was also convicted of organizing a carbomb in southern Jerusalem, in which no one was hurt.

The convicted murderer, who will be sentenced on June 6, has said that he does not recognize the right of the Israeli court to try him, as he is the head of a political organization. Fatah terrorists released statements today pledging to abduct IDF soldiers as hostages for Barghouti's release.

Arrested in April 2002, Barghouti was responsible for building up the Fatah movement's terrorist activities over the past several years, leading to many Israeli deaths. A member of the PA legislature, Barghouti founded the Al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigade, which was later outlawed by the U.S. in the course of being responsible for killing scores of Israelis. In addition to the terrorism for which he was convicted, the IDF also counts the following among his murderous exploits:

* the shooting attack at a Bar Mitzvah in Hadera in January 2002 in which six Israelis were murdered;
* the shooting spree in downtown Jerusalem the same month in which two women were killed;
* three February 2003 attacks in which two Israelis were murdered and two policemen were wounded;
and many other attempted human-bomb murders and attempts.

"The accused generally did not have direct contact with the people on the ground who perpetrated the attacks," the verdict reads. "The contact was made with people close to him, among them [his nephew] Ahmed Barghouti... who, with the support of the accused, planned and carried out the murderous attacks, using the money and arms that the accused made sure to supply to them for that purpose."

The court noted that Israeli law is lacking a provision that would enable the conviction of a terrorist organization leader for all attacks perpetrated by the group members.




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