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Israel charges Tel Aviv bus bomb suspect - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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JERUSALEM, (Reuters) – Israel charged an Israeli Arab citizen on Wednesday over a bomb explosion on a Tel Aviv bus during Israel’s November military offensive in the Palestinian Gaza Strip, the Justice Ministry said.

The bus was driving close to Israel’s defence ministry complex when the bomb went off on November 21, wounding 15 people.

Mohammed Mafarja, 18, is accused of planting the bomb on behalf of Hamas, the Islamist group which rules Gaza, to boost their cause during the conflict with Israel.

Israel launched an offensive against Hamas and other Gaza militant factions on November 14 with the declared aim of stopping their rocket fire into its territory. Some 170 Palestinians and six Israelis were killed in the fighting that lasted eight days.

Three Palestinians from the Israeli-occupied West Bank were arrested along with Mafarja last month and are still in custody, a police spokesman said. They are suspected of recruiting the teenager to carry out the bombing.

Mafarja, according to the charges, notified his handlers when the bomb was in place on the commuter bus and they then detonated the device with a mobile phone.

No trial date was set and Mafarja’s lawyer asked for three weeks to study the charge sheet.

Asharq Al-Awsat

Asharq Al-Awsat

Asharq Al-Awsat is the world’s premier pan-Arab daily newspaper, printed simultaneously each day on four continents in 14 cities. Launched in London in 1978, Asharq Al-Awsat has established itself as the decisive publication on pan-Arab and international affairs, offering its readers in-depth analysis and exclusive editorials, as well as the most comprehensive coverage of the entire Arab world.

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