J'lem Arab guilty of aiding bomber

Imro Abed al-Aziz convicted of murder for 2003 Cafe Hillel attack that killed 7.

A Jerusalem Arab was convicted Thursday in the Jerusalem District Court for assisting a Palestinian suicide bomber who blew himself up at a popular Jerusalem cafe two years ago. Imro Abed al-Aziz, of the Anata refugee camp on the outskirts of Jerusalem, was found guilty on murder charges for helping the suicide bomber who blew himself up at the city's Cafe Hillel. Seven people were killed in the September 9, 2003 attack, including Cleveland-born Dr. David Applebaum who headed the emergency room at Jerusalem's Shaare Zedek Hospital and his 20-year-old daughter Naava who was due to marry the next day. The accomplice allowed the bomber to use his father's suburban Jerusalem apartment before the attack, where the bomber strapped the explosives belt that al-Aziz had hidden to his body, with the accomplice keeping watch on the flat to make sure no one entered while the suicide bomber dressed for the attack, the court found. The two men then went to the city's trendy German Colony where the late-night attack took place. Besides the murder charge, the bomber's accomplice was also found guilty of attempted murder and assisting the enemy. Sentencing in the case will be handed down next year. Earlier this year, two Jerusalem Arabs who planned the bombing were sentenced in the same court to seven life terms in jail. The seven consecutive life terms were handed down in accordance with each life they cut short in the bombing. Life in prison is usually the maximum penalty sought for terrorists, with the death penalty last meted out in Israel for Adolf Eichmann in 1962. The majority of Palestinian suicide bombings in the city over the past five years were carried out with the assistance of Jerusalem Arabs. At least 80 Jerusalem Arabs have been indicted for terror-related offenses over the last five years of violence.