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The Tel Aviv District Court on Tuesday sentenced Abbas el-Sayid, the mastermind of the 2002 Pessah eve bombing of Netanya's Park Hotel, to 35 consecutive life sentences for the murder of 30 victims in that attack and five more in a 2001 suicide bombing at the Sharon Mall in the same city.
A panel of three judges, Bracha Ofir-Tom, Miriam Sokolov and Tehiya Shapira, also sentenced el-Sayid to 50 more years for attempted murder and causing severe injury to other victims of the attacks, and for belonging to a terrorist organization.
He was the head of Hamas in Tulkarm.
Dalia Selistian, 51, who lost her parents in the Park Hotel explosion, told The Jerusalem Post she hoped el-Sayid "would be tormented like we are. I was left to survive and suffer alone." Selistian said that el-Sayid stood directly behind her parents, Michael and Devora Krim, when he blew himself up.
The judges wrote that "considering the gravity of the actions, their circumstances, cruelty and harsh results, we found no special reasons to justify allowing the defendant to serve all his sentences simultaneously... His responsibility and his punishment as leader of a terrorist organization who planned and was personally in charge of dispatching the suicide terrorists to Israel cannot be lighter and lesser than those handed down to his underlings, who were given consecutive life sentences. His responsibility, and therefore his punishment, is greater because of his status and authority as leader."
After el-Sayid's conviction on September 22, his lawyer, Nir Mamon from the Public Defender's Office, said he would appeal against the decision to the Supreme Court. Mamon claimed that the Tel Aviv District Court had not given sufficient consideration to his claim that security forces used improper interrogation methods against him.
Selitsiano told the Post her parents had never gone to a hotel Seder before that night. She was supposed to go with them, but changed her mind 15 minutes before they left the house. The Krims went to the Seder with another couple, of which the woman also died in the blast.
Selitsiano said she was happy el-Sayid and the others involved in planning the attack would stay in jail for the rest of their lives, but added, "What will I get from this? I have been left with nothing." She added that she used to spend every Seder with her parents, but now she goes to those prepared by non-profit organizations, including Almagor, which looks after the victims of terrorism.
"Let's hope no more families will suffer," she continued. "Every time I hear of a terrorist attack, I feel that I'm involved. I have been traumatized for the rest of my life."
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