Arab terrorist sentenced to prison for trying to blow up Jerusalem homes

A Jerusalem court sent an Arab terrorist to 30 years in prison for an attempt at mass murder of Israelis in the capital.

By: Aryeh Savir, World Israel News

A Jerusalem court sentenced an Arab terrorist to 30 years in prison on Wednesday for committing several attacks, including the attempted detonation of buildings in Jerusalem by sabotaging the gas lines and leaving flammable materials in the vicinity. He was also convicted of aiding the enemy in wartime.

Israel police and the Shin Bet (Israel’s Security Agency) arrested Aziz Musah Salam Awisat, a resident of the Jabel Mukaber neighborhood in Jerusalem, in March 2014 on terror charges. Awisat, affiliated with Hamas, is 49 and a father of six. Authorities said he confessed that he acted on nationalistic motives with the intent to harm Jews.

In his most recent act of terror, Awisat tried to blow up a building on March 5. Firefighters evacuated dozens of residents from three buildings in the Armon Hanatziv neighborhood in Jerusalem after two gas lines in the vicinity were severed. A burning candle and other flammable materials were discovered near the cut lines. Experts on the scene detected combustive levels of gas. The gas lines were shut down and the buildings were ventilated. The firefighters’ quick action and decisiveness prevented a large-scale disaster.

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On February 28 and March 2, Awisat managed to cut the gas lines in a total of eight buildings.

He was arrested two days after his latest terror attempt. The police used DNA found at the scene.

Awisat is further charged with assaulting a 70-year-old Israeli with an axe in 2012. The victim, who was on his way to the Kotel (Western Wall in the Old City), was severely wounded.

The terrorist said he was motivated to commit the attacks as “revenge for Israeli acts against the al-Aksa Mosque [on the Temple Mount], IDF operations against Gaza and harm to Islam.”

Deputy Court President Jacob Tsaban wrote that “the actions of the accused, including the nationalist motivations at their core, harmed the fundamental values of the sacredness of human life and the wholeness of the human body, public order and the sovereignty of the State of Israel.”

Awisat wanted to “cut off the human life with the intent of aiding terrorist organizations in their war against the State of Israel,” the judge added.