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Last Updated: Tuesday, 8 May 2007, 11:27 GMT 12:27 UK
Israeli jailed for helping bomber
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An Israeli has been sentenced to seven years in jail for helping a Palestinian suicide bomber who killed one person and injured 55 in Tel Aviv in 2002.

Islam Badir was convicted of manslaughter and causing grievous harm for driving the bomber from Kafr Qassem to Petah Tikva, a town near Tel Aviv.

The judge said Badir had known his passenger was planning an attack, but had "shut his eyes and done nothing".

Three Israelis were jailed last month for helping a suicide bomber in 2005.

The men were sentenced to 13 years in prison for transporting a suicide bomber who blew himself up in a shopping centre in Netanya in July 2005, killing 5 people and wounding 90 others.

Admission

Badir, 28, told the Tel Aviv District Court that he had agreed to drive the bomber and his accomplice, Abu Saris, from his village of Kafr Qassem to a town near Tel Aviv on 30 March 2002.

According to Haaretz, Badir and Abu Saris had been involved in illegal activity together before, and Abu Saris approached Badir, asking him if he would take them to Petah Tikva.

Badir said the two men had initially told him they intended to engage in criminal activity in Tel Aviv, but not that they were going to carry out a bombing.

Badir said he became increasingly suspicious, however, and confronted the two men.

They admitted what they were planning, but despite this Mr Badir continued the journey.

He dropped them off in Petah Tikva and returned home without alerting the Israeli security services.

The bomber then caught a taxi from the town to Tel Aviv and later blew himself up at the My Coffee Shop cafe.

The Israeli authorities learnt about Mr Badir's involvement after they arrested and questioned the bomber's accomplice, Ra'id Abu Saris.

Mr Badir was in prison for other offences at the time.

In other news, the Israeli military has said it detained 29 suspected Palestinian militants, including 16 members of Hamas, during overnight raids in the West Bank towns of Tulkarem, Nablus and Jenin.

The Palestinian news agency, WAFA, said a spokesman for Hamas, Abdullah Yassin, was among the 14 people arrested in Tulkarem.




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