Inicio NOTICIAS Two east Jerusalem men convicted of plotting to bomb Mamilla open mall in Jerusalem

Two east Jerusalem men convicted of plotting to bomb Mamilla open mall in Jerusalem

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Itongadol.- Two Hamas members involved in a plot to bomb the Mamilla open mall in downtown Jerusalem during the High Holy Days in 2013 were convicted by the Jerusalem District Court on terrorism charges on Monday.

When the story broke it was considered one of the most audacious and monstrous plots yet uncovered.

The men, Ahmad Rishak, 23, from Shuafat, and Ismail Abu Mfalfal, 27, from Abu Dis were indicted at the Jerusalem District Court in September 2013, with a three judge panel of Zvi Segel, Ben Tzion Greenberg and Arnon Darel presiding.

Both were convicted of conspiracy to aid an enemy during war and attempted manufacturing of a weapon.

It appeared that they were not charged with attempted murder, which carries an even more serious sentence, because they were caught early enough in the planning stages not to justify that particular charge.

They and other alleged Hamas members from Ramallah and Jerusalem were in advanced planning stages in the terror plot and were led by Hamdi Romana, 22, of Ramallah, the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) said.

In the investigation process, which included the IDF and the police, security forces uncovered an explosives lab in Romana’s home, including instruction manuals on how to construct bombs, the Shin Bet stated.

During questioning, Romana confessed to being in contact with three other residents of the Ramallah area who provided him with bomb-making equipment. They have since been arrested and have pleaded guilty, security forces said.

It was around March 2013 when Romana recruited Rishak and Mfalfal for the plot. Making use of their Israeli ID cards, he instructed them to smuggle the bomb into Israel, the Shin Bet and the indictment indicated.

Rishak was recruited first, and on orders from Romana, Rishak eventually engaged Mfalfal, the indictment said.

It alleged that Mfalfal assisted with several aspects of the plot, including the providing of approximately 40 iron balls for the device in order to increase the number of potential casualties.

Rishak and Mfalfal, who were employed as maintenance workers at Mamilla, were planning to smuggle the bomb into the shopping center and to hide it in a closet.

Following multiple meetings in July 2013, they were ordered to plant the bomb in a restaurant, store or trash can and to cover it with wrapping paper, in order to make it look like a gift in preparation for the upcoming Jewish holidays, when the mall would be packed with shoppers.

One scenario included wrapping the device in a box of chocolates and placing it in a garbage can, according to the indictment.

“During questioning, members of the terror cell mentioned other initial plans to carry out additional attacks, including harming IDF soldiers by booby-trapping homes in Ramallah, manufacturing and firing rockets at Israeli communities near Ramallah and attempting to get hold of handguns to fire on soldiers at the Hizma roadblock, northeast of Jerusalem,” the Shin Bet said.

More specifically, the indictment stated that while visiting the YMCA in Jerusalem, Rishak asked Mfalfal to get him a gun that could be used to attack soldiers.

The domestic intelligence agency said the investigation uncovered high motivation among West Bank terror cells, led by Hamas, to carry out attacks in Israel.

The investigation highlighted the significant danger posed by attempts to exploit Israeli ID card holders, who enjoy freedom of movement, in order to attack, the Shin Bet observed.

The West Bank Hamas wing launched two recent terror attacks – the detonation near the Jerusalem Convention Center in 2011 and the Tel Aviv bus bombing of 2012 – similarly using Israeli ID card holders to plant the explosives.

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