By Jim Kouri
Israel’s military court on Wednesday indicted a 26-year-old terrorist-cell leader from the West Bank village of Beit Lakiya for spearheading the bombing of a passenger bus in Tel Aviv in November, according to an Israeli police source.
The military court charged Ahmed Moussa with a list of offenses, including an attempt to intentionally cause death, conspiracy to cause death, trafficking weapons and explosives, and building improvised explosive devices for use against targets in the Jewish homeland, the source said.
The bus bombing occurred during the time when Palestinian terrorist groups located in Gaza fired numerous rockets and missiles into Israel cities and towns.
About 30 Israeli civilians were wounded onboard the No. 142 bus when the bomb exploded. The wounded were all treated in area hospitals and eventually released.
Following Moussa’s interrogation by the Shin Bet Security Agency (Shabak), the indictment establishes that Moussa headed a terrorist cell in the West Bank, which was behind the bus attack. It also claims he had links to the Palestinian Islamic Jihad and Hamas, which controls the Gaza Strip.
According to the indictment, Moussa purchased the weapons that were used in the attack and he had recruited two additional jihadists to carry out the attack with him.
He is also charged with preparing explosives used on the targeted bus, which exploded near the city’s hospital and military headquarters, and deploying a fellow cell member to plant the bomb and notify him when the task was completed by mobile phone.
The Shin Bet’s investigation also revealed that the cell planned to carry out further militant attacks including targeting Israeli ministers and conduct drive-by shootings in the West Bank.
As for other members of the alleged terror cell, Mohammed Mafarja, 18, from the Arab Israeli town of Taybe, was indicted in December for allegedly planting the bomb on the bus. He has confessed to the charges during his investigation by the Shin Bet and the police and reenacted his steps.
Fuad Atzi, 27, and Mohammed Damra, 25, have been connected to the Moussa’s cell but they haven’t been indicted for the attack as yet.