Wed, Dec 01, 2004 - Page 6 News List

Palestinian sentenced to 48 life terms for bombings

AP , JERUSALEM

An Israeli military court on Monday sentenced a Palestinian to 48 consecutive life terms in prison for his role in three separate suicide bombings, the military court said.

According to the sentence handed down by the court, Mohammed Abu Varda, 28, planned the attacks and recruited the bombers who hit two Jerusalem buses and a bus stop in the coastal city of Ashkelon, killing 45 people and wounding more than 100 others.

Abu Varda, a member of the violent Islamic group Hamas, received one life sentence for each of the 45 people killed, and one for each attack.

"The accused was convicted, by his confession, in one of the most serious indictments ever handed to an Israeli court," the judgment said.

The judgment said that not only did Abu Varda not regret his actions, but called them a "legitimate form of resistance."

Hamas has killed hundreds of Israelis in suicide bombings.

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