Two Palestinians Sentenced to Life Imprisonment
TEL AVIV, Israel (AP) _ A military court in the occupied West Bank of the Jordan River on Thursday sentenced two Palestinians to life imprisonment for strangling an Israeli soldier, an army spokesman said.
The court convicted the Palestinians earlier in the week of killing Sgt. David Manos, 19, in November 1984, and of planting several bombs in Tel Aviv the same year. They were arrested in March after Manos’ body was found in a cave.
The army spokesman, who demanded anonymity, identified the men as Moustafa Mahmoud Karoush and Tewfik Ibrahim Abdallah, both from the West Bank village of Deir Ballut. He said Karoush was a member of the Palestine Liberation Organization.
One member of the three-judge panel sought the death penalty but was outvoted, Israel Radio reported. It said when the sentences were read, Manos’ relatives screamed for the death sentence, and one threw a large stone at the defendants.
Meanwhile, Israel appointed another Palestinian mayor in the West Bank to replace the Israeli administrators, in keeping with a recent policy of allowing Palestinians more say in administering their affairs.
Taher Hijazi was named to head a five-member municipal council in Anabta, 25 miles northeast of Tel Aviv, said military spokeswoman Capt. Elisse Shazar.
Israeli authorities took control of Anabta in 1982, along with most other West Bank municipalities, when the town councils refused to cooperate with the army. Anabta has an Arab population of 3,500 and was occupied by Israel along with the rest of the West Bank in the 1967 Middle East War.
Capt. Shazar said the only West Bank town still without a Palestinian mayor was Bir Zeit, north of Jerusalem, where the mayor died recently. Palestinian mayors were appointed for Hebron, Ramallah and El-Bireh in September.
Israel’s plan to foster a moderate Palestinian leadership in the West Bank received a serious setback in March when Zafer el-Masri, the Israeli-appointed mayor of Nablus, was assassinated by Palestinian radicals. Nablus is the largest city in the occupied territories.
Earlier Thursday, Israeli soldiers cemented shut an apartment used by four Palestinians accused of the grenade attack in Jerusalem last week that killed one Israeli and wounded 69, the army spokesman said.
Police spokesman Rafi Levy said the suspects would be detained for up to 15 more days. He refused to say if they would then be charged in connection with the attack.
The apartment sealed in Azariya, a village on the eastern outskirts of Jerusalem, served the suspects as a hideout and was used to store weapons, said the army spokesman.
In another development, a firebomb was thrown Thursday night at an Israeli car in the Palestinian town of Khan Yunis in the Israeli-occupied Gaza Strip, the military command said. No injuries were reported.
Israel Radio said Israeli soldiers and border police surrounded the area and arrested several suspects. It did not elaborate.