Habibi family found guilty of attacking Nazerath church

3 family members convicted of criminal activity, arson, public disorder and threatening behavior.

March 16, 2006 13:45


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The Nazereth District Court on Thursday found three members of the Habibi family guilty of hurling objects and explosives inside the Church of the Annunciation at he beginning of March. Hayim Eliyahu, his Christian wife Violet and daughter Odelya, were convicted of criminal activity, arson, public disorder and threatening behavior. It follows the incident on March 3 when the Habibis entered the church disguised as pilgrims equipped with a baby carriage filled with explosives and small gas bombs. During prayers at the church they detonated the explosives and one of the perpetrators was injured in the head. In confrontations between residents and police after the incident, 13 policemen and 13 civilians were wounded. Four vehicles were burnt including two police cars. Police knew Hayim Eliyahu Habibi, who is suffering from a mental disposition, as he attempted to carry out similar attacks in the past including one on the Church of the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem. The family was being treated by Jerusalem's social services after the children were confiscated from their parents.

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