Israel to release planner behind 2002 Tel Aviv bombing

 

The Military Court of Appeals ruled the arrest of Jamal Tirawi, who planned deadly bombing of Tel Aviv coffee shop, violated state amnesty deal with Palestinian Authority.

By Itamar Fleishman

The Military Court of Appeals at the Ofer Base annulled on Monday the indictment filed against Jamal Tirawi, who orchestrated the terror attack at the “My Coffee Shop” cafe in Tel Aviv in 2002.

Explosion in ‘My Coffee Shop’ café in Tel Aviv – Photo: Michael Kramer

The court explained its decision by saying that the State had not kept its commitment not to arrest Tirawi under the amnesty agreement with the Palestinian Authority.

In their ruling, the judges criticized the State’s decision to violate the agreement and determined that despite Tirawi’s crimes, it is crucial that the State live up to agreements it had signed.

Tirawi, who served as a Fatah member of the Palestinian Legislative Council, was convicted of planning the terror attack in Tel Aviv that killed Israeli woman Rachel Tcherkhi, as well as two other attempted terror attacks. He was arrested in 2007, shortly after Israel and the PA reached an agreement in the framework of which Israel pardoned some 120 terrorists on the condition they refrain from taking part in any terror-related activity.

Following his conviction, Tirawi appealed to the Military Court, claiming his arrest constituted a blatant violation of the amnesty agreement. On Monday the judges accepted his appeal and ordered his release.

“(The authorities) unjustifiably ignored the agreement when it came to (Tirawi), and, regrettably, it is hard to say that they did so innocently,” the judges said in their ruling.

Attorney Avigdor Feldman, who represented Tirawi, called the ruling “courageous,” adding that the court “annulled the conviction of a senior PA figure who was convicted of involvement in a suicide bombing in Israel and was sentenced to 30 years in prison, because the State of Israel violated its obligation not to arrest (Tirawi) – under the amnesty deal.”

Tirawi thanked the court and said the ruling “proves that Israelis and Palestinians were meant to live side by side in peace.”

 

 

View original Ynet publication at: http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4376978,00.html

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