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Last Updated: Tuesday, 30 September, 2003, 12:35 GMT 13:35 UK
Jewish school bomb plotters jailed
Yarden Morag (left) and Shlomo Dvir
The settlers said they wanted to avenge the killing of Jews
Three Jewish settlers have been jailed for attempted murder.

An Israeli court sentenced the men to 12-15 years imprisonment for trying to blow up an Arab girls school in East Jerusalem.

Two of the men, from the West Bank settlement of Bat Ayin, were arrested in April last year near the school with a trailer laden with explosives.

The device had been set to explode when students arrived for classes, but police managed to defuse it.

Shlomo Zeliger Dvir and Ofer Gamliel were sentenced to 15 years each.

The third man, Yarden Morag, was found guilty of helping to prepare the bomb and given a 12-year term.

Gas canisters

The three settlers were convicted on 17 September.

A defence lawyer for Morag and Dvir said they planned to appeal.

The court heard how the settlers packed the trailer with explosives, cooking gas canisters, a clock, a battery, a detonator and a fuse.

Dvir and Morag parked the trailer outside the entrance to the school in A-Tur district, and set the timer for 0725, just as students would be arriving for classes.

Gamliel helped plan the attack.

The plot was foiled when police happened to see the men acting suspiciously and checked inside the trailer.

Judges said the men planned to carry out what they called a "mass killing".

Following the guilty verdict earlier this month, Morag and Dvir expressed regret for their actions.

"We're sorry," Dvir said.

"We'll serve our time in jail. It's no big deal. Anyway, it's better than being blown up at a bus stop," he told reporters, referring to Palestinian suicide attacks.

There have been a number of attacks on Palestinians by Jewish militants since the outbreak of the Palestinian intifada (uprising) in September, 2000.

The Israeli human rights group B'Tselem says up to 15 Palestinians have been killed by Jewish militants over the past three years, while Israeli officials put the number at about six.

Settlers guilty of school bomb plot
17 Sep 03  |  Middle East


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