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´Nakba Day´ terror attack driver convicted of murder (JERUSALEM POST) By JOANNA PARASZCZUK 07/20/12)Source: http://www.jpost.com/NationalNews/Article.aspx?id=278114 JERUSALEM POST JERUSALEM POST Articles-Index-TopPublishers-Index-Top
A truck driver who killed a man and injured 17 others during a terror attack in Tel Aviv on ´Nakba Day´ last year was pronounced guilty of murder on Thursday.

In a unanimous ruling, the Tel Aviv District Court said Ibrahim Islam Issa, a 23-year-old resident of Kfar Kassem, was guilty of premeditated murder after he swerved his 15-ton Volvo truck into a line of vehicles and pedestrians on a busy Tel Aviv road on May 15, 2011, the date Palestinians mark as ´Nakba Day´, a day of mourning coinciding with the anniversary of the founding of the State of Israel.

According to the indictment, Issa was motivated by nationalist ideology and planned the attack in advance, aiming to kill as many Jews as possible.

Issa began the attack at 9.30 a.m. on Tel Aviv´s Bar Lev street, smashing into a car decorated with an Israeli flag and killing the driver, Avi Morag.

He then smashed into seven more vehicles, including a scooter and a bus before getting out of his truck and beating passersby with a blunt object while shouting “Allahu Akbar" [God is great], and racial epithets against Jews, the indictment said.

Issa´s defense argued that he had not intended to kill anyone and that he had lost control of his truck.

In court, Issa testified that he had fallen asleep at the wheel before hitting the cars. He said that he was not racist and had never contemplated harming Jews and denied shouting "Allahu Akbar".

Judges Gilya Ravid, Gilad Neuthal and Meir Yifrach convicted Issa of murder in a unanimous decision.

Under the Penal Code, a murder conviction requires that the prosecution prove beyond a reasonable doubt that a killing was premeditated.

Ravid said the fact that Issa had crossed a red light at high speed, and slammed his truck into vehicles at the junction, demonstrated that he had intended to cause the death of the people in those cars.

"This conclusion is reinforced by the fact that [Issa] did not stop after the smash and was not interested in what had happened to the passengers affected by it, and did not try to get help," Judge Ravid said.

Issa was also convicted of attempted murder, causing injury and aggravated injury, and endangering life on a public highway.

The court will sentence Issa at a later date. A murder conviction attracts a mandatory penalty of life imprisonment. (© 1995-2011, The Jerusalem Post 07/20/12)

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