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Two members of an Israeli-Arab terror cell that conspired to murder Israeli pilots and scientists using booby-trapped toy cars were sentenced Thursday in Haifa District Court after they confessed to being members of an Islamic Jihad conspiracy to murder the Israelis.
Anis Safouri, 22, was sentenced to 14 years in prison and Husam Halil, 20 was sentenced to two-and-a-half years after they admitted to the conspiracy. Among the charges on which Safouri was convicted were conspiracy to murder, assisting an enemy, and illegal weapons possession.
Safouri had negotiated a plea bargain with the state by which he would serve between nine and 15 years, and the judges did not waste words in expressing their discontent with the case. "It is to our sadness that we from time to time are called on to address incidents in which citizens of Israel make contact with terror organization and with the country's worst enemies, whose entire goals are to seed destruction, waste and killing among her citizens," wrote Justices Yosef Elron, Rivka Lemshtrich-Letter and Moshe Gilad.
The cell to which the two contributed was known as "The Martyr Imad Morghniyeh Cell," and Safouri was the member who initially cooked up the plan to murder Israelis, especially those working in the fields of physics and mathematics as well as IAF pilots. The means of carrying out the assassinations was supposed to be through planting booby-trapped toy cars outside of the victims' homes.
Safouri also planned a more "traditional" terror attack to be carried out against an IDF checkpoint in the West Bank.
It was Safouri who made contact with terror agents to join a terror cell in 2008, the two Shfaram residents were university students - Safouri in Ramallah and his cousin Halil in Jordan. Halil was enlisted to help transfer funds for the organization from Jordan to Israel.
Safouri also served as the "media adviser" for the organization, publishing statements on he terror group's Website, and the cell's entire network was exposed when Safouri was arrested in August 2008.