DE RUEHJM #0121 0231503
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 231503Z JAN 08
FM AMCONSUL JERUSALEM
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 0323
INFO RUEHXK/ARAB ISRAELI COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RHEHNSC/WHITE HOUSE NSC PRIORITY UNCLAS JERUSALEM 000121
NEA FOR FRONT OFFICE, NSC FOR ABRAMS/SINGH/PASCUAL
E.O. 12958: N/A
SUBJECT: PA CONVICTS TWO FOR MURDER OF OFF-DUTY IDF
SOLDIERS, HANDS DOWN 15-YEAR SENTENCES
REF: 07 JERUSALEM 2628
1. (SBU) National Security Forces (NSF) contacts confirmed
press reports that on January 22 a PA military court in
Hebron convicted Ali Abd al-Hamid Dandis and Amar Badr Halim
Taha of "intentional killing" (a charge similar to voluntary
manslaughter and not as serious as premeditated murder) in
the December 28 shooting deaths of two off-duty IDF soldiers,
and sentenced both to 15 years imprisonment (the maximum for
the charge under the PA's penal code). The court rejected
court-appointed defense attorney Subhi Ja'bari's contention
that the defendants had been threatened by the armed Israelis
and acted in self-defense. However, the court found
insufficient evidence of premeditation to convict the two of
murder. The court dropped a lesser charge, "harming
Palestinian public interests."
2. (SBU) NSF contacts say they are coordinating with the IDF
to move the convicts to Jericho prison to serve their
sentences there. They say the two will be treated as serious
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