Would-be terror-bomber at Eilat hotel acquitted

Resident of eastern Jerusalem unanimously acquitted by Beer Sheva court, which cites lack of 'guilt beyond reasonable doubt.'

Shlomo Pyutrikovsky,

Eilat
Eilat
Flash 90

The judges of the Beer Sheva District Court decided to acquit Khalil Nimri, a resident of eastern Jerusalem, who was accused along with Ashraf Salaymeh, also a resident of eastern Jerusalem, of planning a terror attack at a hotel in Eilat.

In the verdict published this morning by the judges, Justice Ariel Vago, Alon Einfeld and Ariel Chazak, stated: "During the processing of the evidence and the beginning of the writing of the verdict, we reached the conclusion that even assuming that the confessions of the defendant and the statements of the witness Ashraf are admissible, the evidence, in its entirety, still does not prove the accused's guilt beyond reasonable doubt. "

"Given the ongoing detention of the accused, we decided to give notice of the acquittal as early as possible, even before we could explain our reasons in detail, in writing," the judges added, and promised to publish the full grounds for acquittal within thirty days.
The indictment asserts that Nimri and Salaymeh met while both working at a hotel in Eilat and that, in October 2015, the two met at the home of one of them and decided to carry out an attack against Jews.

Khalil initially suggested that they carry out a stabbing attack and murder a religious Jew. Ashraf rejected the suggestion, as in this type of attack they might be caught and there would be no significance to their actions. He therefore suggested that they carry out an attack by planting explosives in a hotel in Eilat, and Khalil, according to the indictment, agreed.
The two observed the hotel from outside and monitored a group of religious people who were staying there. One of the defendants even searched the internet on videos about how to prepare explosive devices. Ashraf also arrived at the hotel to collect preliminary information and prepare for the execution of the attack. He pretended that he wanted to rent a hotel room for a period, and on this basis wanted to see different rooms in the hotel, and was interested, among other things, in the room below the dining room - thinking to hide the explosive there.

Ashraf asked a receptionist a manager many questions that aroused their suspicions, such as: how many arrive at the hotel, what is hotel occupancy, whether a group of religious people were expected to arrive at the hotel, etc. Ashraf then left the hotel.
The alertness of the receptionist and manager, who reported to higher-level hotel management and security personnel, eventually led to the arrest of the two, one of whom was acquitted today, two years after the arrest.




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