TA bus bomb 370.
(photo credit:REUTERS/NIR ELIAS)
Muhammad Abed al-Jaffer Nasser Mafarja has been convicted as part of a plea
bargain deal of carrying out the notorious Tel Aviv bus bombing of November 2012
that wounded 26 people in the middle of Operation Pillar of
Mafarja, 19, was convicted on Monday in the Tel Aviv District
Court after the prosecution dropped the harshest charge against him, and
although he will likely be given an extended prison sentence, the dropped charge
means a life sentence is off the table.
As part of the deal, the maximum
sentence that the prosecution will request is 25 years. Mafarja’s lawyer, Laviv
Habib, said he would seek a shorter sentence on the basis of Mafarja’s
Habib said although Mafarja’s actions were “not simple, he was
young, his failure was as a teenager who was not yet 18 at the time of the
bombing, he was pressured by others and did not fully understand the
consequences of his actions.”
Habib added that now Mafarja “is taking
responsibility, has shown regret” and reasserted an earlier argument that the
bomb was a “weak bomb” designed to convince the IDF to end its military actions
in Gaza and “not primarily to kill.”
Pressed on Mafarja’s intent, Habib
admitted that while Mafarja said he did not intend to kill, he knew it was a
possible consequence of his actions, but in the end no one died, despite many
The prosecution agreed to drop the harshest charge, of aiding
the enemy in a time of war, which could have carried a life sentence. They
agreed to drop that charge because of Mafarja’s young age, the lack of
fatalities, and that the charge would not necessarily guarantee a life sentence,
The Jerusalem Post has learned.
The Post was also told that dropping the
harshest charge did not come as a result of a lack of evidence.
was convicted on the charges of performing an act that showed intent to assist
an enemy, attempted murder, causing the explosion of explosive material and
causing serious bodily harm.
The sentencing hearing was set for February
17 and the prosecution told the court it planned to bring victims and families
of victims as witnesses to testify against Mafarja and to obtain the full
Originally from the West Bank, Mafarja was able to move
within the Green Line and acquire Israeli identification documents after a
According to prosecutors, on the morning of the
bombing, Mafarja spent a few hours riding around on several different buses in
Tel Aviv while carrying the bomb, looking for a bus full of
Eventually, he got on a crowded bus, Bus 142 from Ramat Gan
to Tel Aviv.
Just before he arrived at a bus stop at the Ramat Gan
industrial district, Mafarja activated the bomb and then left it on the third
seat on the right side and got off the bus. He called one of his associates
immediately afterward and told him that the bomb was in place. Minutes later,
the bus arrived near the corner of Shaul Hamelech Boulevard and Henrietta Szold
Street, where the bomb was detonated.
Prosecutors said after Mafarja got
off the bus, he took a train from the Savidor Central Train Station back to
Modi’in, where he returned to his job at the McDonald’s eatery in the Azrieli
The Shin Bet and police said that several hours after the bombing,
they managed to arrest Mafarja and the other members of the Beit Likya-based
Indictments have been filed against several other suspects who
prosecutors claimed were part of the “military cell” from the Ramallah area,
which they said also plotted to carry out suicide bombings and shooting attacks
against politicians and soldiers.
In January, the Military
Advocate-General’s Office filed an indictment with the West Bank Military Court
of Judea against the alleged mastermind of the bus bombing, Ahmad Salah Ahmad
Musa, a 25-year-old resident of Beit Likya
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