Police work the scene of the June 8, 2016, shooting attack at a restaurant at the Sarona Market in Tel Aviv.
(photo credit: AMMAR AWAD/REUTERS)
Three terrorists involved in the deadly shooting that killed four Israelis at central Tel Aviv’s Sarona Market in June 2016 were each given four life sentences by the Tel Aviv District Court on Wednesday.
All three were also given an additional 60 years in jail for attempted murder in an attack in which 41 people were wounded. Each of the three also were fined NIS 258,000 as compensation to each family of the murder victims.
Two were convicted for murder and one as a partner to a murder in the terrorist attack.
In the investigation’s findings, the two, Khaled Mahamrah, 20, and Mahmoud Mahamrah, 21, said they were inspired by Islamic State, though they carried out the attack without being formally recruited or trained by the terrorist group.
The two are cousins from the West Bank town of Yatta.
IDF raze home of Sarona Market terrorist
According to the indictment, during the brutal shooting, the two terrorists came to the market and opened fire randomly on civilians at the Max Brenner Café and its surroundings.
Mahmoud became an ISIS admirer while studying in Jordan before he returned to Yatta in January 2016.
Khaled started to think about a terrorist operation in August 2015, after the late-July infamous murder of the Palestinian Dawabshe family of Duma.
The third man indicted as a partner in the attack, Yunis Aish Musa Zin, 21, also of Yatta, had planned to carry out the attack along with the other two terrorists.
However, at the last second, the Mahmarahs said, he could not participate because he had debts, and Islam forbids martyrdom while holding debts.
Zin also admitted to helping to supply the alleged murderers with their weapons, including a Carl Gustav rifle, the likes of which were found at the scene of the attack.
A lawyer for Zin said he would appeal the conviction for partner to a murder and the life sentence and seek a reduction to a conviction for mere aiding and abetting.
The indictment said that Khaled and Mahmoud originally conspired to attack passengers traveling on an Israeli train.
Their plan included purchasing clothing to look like businessmen as well as getting haircuts and other adjustments to their looks to fit the part.
They made their way from the West Bank to Beersheba to attack passengers there, but changed their plans when they saw the train station’s metal detectors.
Instead, they took a cab to Tel Aviv near the Azrieli Mall.
There they asked passers-by where they could find cafés to eat at – with their secret motivation being to find places filled with people to shoot at.
Passers-by directed them to Sarona, where they carried out the attack.
They continued to fire on the crowds until their weapons malfunctioned, and then they fled the scene as security forces fired on them unsuccessfully to stop them from escaping. The two split up spontaneously as they were running from the scene.
Khaled was caught first, when he was shot and wounded, but not killed, by a member of the security forces.
Mahmoud blended in with a family that ran into their home from the street to hide from what everyone heard were terrorists freely running through the streets of Tel Aviv.
He was later arrested in the home by security forces when they ascertained his true identity.
Also on Wednesday, Saadi Abu Hamad was sentenced to 30 years in prison by the Judea Military Court for attempted murder.
Hamad attacked Zvi Cohen at a mall in Ma’aleh Adumim in February 2016. He must also pay NIS 200,000 in compensatory damages to Cohen.Jerusalem Post Staff contributed to this report.
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