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December 19, 2012 10:07 am

Israeli Arab Indicted on 27 Counts of Attempted Murder for Bus Bombing

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An aerial view of the aftermath of the Tel Aviv bus bombing. Photo: Maayan Uliel, Tazpit News Agency.

An indictment has been filed in the Tel Aviv District Court against the Israeli Arab man suspected of planting a bomb on a Tel Aviv bus on Nov. 21, Israel Hayom reported.

Mohammed Mafarja, an 18-year-old resident of Taybeh, was charged with aiding the enemy during wartime, conspiring to commit a crime and 27 counts of attempted murder, among other charges.

The blast on Dan Bus No. 142 in Tel Aviv took place on the final day of Israel’s eight-day Operation Pillar of Defense in the Gaza Strip last month. More than two dozen Israelis were wounded in the explosion, most of them lightly.

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According to the indictment, Mafarja left the explosive device underneath a seat toward the front of the bus, disembarked in Ramat Gan’s Bursa district and then called Ahmad Musa, a co-conspirator in the West Bank. Several minutes later, Musa set off the device by calling a mobile phone that was attached to the bomb as a detonator. The bomb exploded as the bus was travelling on Shaul Hamelech Street in central Tel Aviv around noon.

Musa was among several Palestinians from the village of Beit Lakiya to be detained for suspected involvement in the bombing. Law enforcement officials say that Mafarja, Musa and the other arrested individuals were part of a terrorist cell with links to Hamas and Islamic Jihad.

Mafarja was originally from the West Bank but received Israeli citizenship under the family reunification law.

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