Three members of the so-called Bat Ayin Jewish terror cell were convicted yesterday of attempted murder for trying
to set off a bomb near a girls school in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of A-Tur last year. The Jerusalem District Court also convicted the three - Yarden Morag, Shlomo Zeliger Dvir and Ofer
Gamliel, all residents of the West Bank settlement of Bat Ayin - of illegal weapons possession. In their verdict, judges Moshe Ravid, Yaffa Hecht and Jacob Zaban wrote that the three "decided to
commit a major terror attack that would cause many casualties among the Arab residents of East Jerusalem by means of a booby-trapped cart that they prepared and left in a crowded place, at the
entrance to a girls school and to Mokassad Hospital in East Jerusalem." During their interrogations, the verdict continued, the three "made many detailed statements that included confessions of
having committed the crimes attributed to them. We have no doubt that the confessions of Yarden Morag and Shlomo Dvir are truthful." Morag and Dvir were caught by a policeman on patrol while they
were leaving the cart, on April 29, 2002.
Jonathan Lis and Gideon Alon report:
The trailer - packed with explosives, fuel, and shrapnel - was hitched to the Bat Ayin security jeep and taken to
the site early on April 29. Inside the trailer were two TNT mines, two large cooking gas canisters, two 250-liter barrels of diesel fuel mixed with gasoline and three-and-a-half kilograms of nuts and
bolts to be used as shrapnel. It was all tied together to a detonator, rigged with a clock to go off at 7:25 A.M., just as the girls congregated in the school yard before entering class, said the
According to the indictment, the original plan was set for April 22 but was postponed at the last minute until one week later on April 29. On that night, Ofer Gamliel backed out of the plan that he
would go with the other two, Morag and Dvir , but he showed them how to operate the detonator and told them to pick up more parts for the bomb from a warehouse at his parents' home in Jerusalem.
Around 2 A.M., Morag and Dvir reached Gamliel's parents' home, loaded the last parts of the bomb into the trailer, and set the alarm. An hour later, they parked the trailer outside the school,
locking it with chains and slashing its tires so it could not be moved.
As they were making their final preparations, Dvir and Morag spotted a police car on patrol in the area and they started to run away from the scene. That raised the suspicions of the patrolmen, who
gave chase, caught the two in their car and then inspected the trailer, discovering the bomb. They called the bomb squad, which arrived to neutralize the device, which, said the charge sheet, "could
have killed many people." Naftali Werzberger, lawyer for the three main suspects, said that "we have a lot to learn about the subject and have started doing so.
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