State indicts southeast Jerusalem man for 9 tries at gas leak explosion terror

Indictment: Suspect motivated to perpetrate attacks as "revenge for Israeli acts against Al Aksa Mosque, IDF operations against Gaza."

Jerusalem gas explosion, January 20, 2014. (photo credit: MAGEN DAVID ADOM)
Jerusalem gas explosion, January 20, 2014.
(photo credit: MAGEN DAVID ADOM)
The Jerusalem District Attorney’s Office on Sunday submitted an indictment to the district court against Aziz Awisat, a 49-year-old resident of the southeastern Jebal Mukaber neighborhood, for trying to cause nine gas leak terrorist explosions.
Awisat is also accused of attacking a Jewish man with an ax with the goal of killing him, rounding off the charges against him to include 10 counts of attempted murder as well as aiding the enemy in wartime.
He first considered carrying out terrorist operations and assisting Israeli enemies in 2012, said the indictment.
The indictment alleged that Awisat said he was motivated to perpetrate the attacks as “revenge for Israeli acts against the Al-Aksa Mosque, IDF operations against Gaza and harm to Islam.”
The ax attack occurred first, on April 2, 2012, according to the indictment.
On January 23, 2014, noted the indictment, Awisat was at a National Insurance Institute office in Jerusalem in order to request certain payments when he heard the security guards talking about the gas canister that had exploded in the Gilo neighborhood three days earlier that killed three people and injured 11.
Two weeks later, Awisat decided to pursue perpetrating a similar gas explosion, the indictment stated.
Next, it alleged that Awisat bought scissors specially outfitted for cutting gas lines and performed surveillance on possible targets in the Armon Hanatziv neighborhood.
Awisat cut gas lines connected with residential buildings in nine incidents in the area in order to cause an explosion and kill civilians, according to the indictment.
There have been several recent gas explosion incidents, and State Comptroller Joseph Shapira is campaigning for the state to better address the safety problems presented by the deficiencies in regulation.
The prosecution requested remanding Awisat to custody until the end of the proceedings.