First Beit Lid, and now the Megiddo junction: from the PIJ’s perspective, Al-Arian had a lot to be “chipper” about. “Israelis in Florida Jihad Trial,” from the Jerusalem Post, with thanks to the Constantinopolitan Irredentist:
Five Israelis who witnessed a Palestinian suicide attack three years ago, were called to the stand Tuesday to testify in the trial of professor Sami Al-Arian who is accused of heading the Palestinian Islamic Jihad branch in the US and of raising money used to finance terror attack against Israelis.
The Israelis that testified in court in Tampa, Florida were all witnesses of the June 2002 attack on an Egged bus near the Megiddo junction. The attack, carried out by a terrorist who crashed his explosive-packed car into the bus, killed 17 people and injured 45. The Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) claimed responsibility for the attack.
Assaf Sharabi, one of those injured in the attack, gave the court a detailed account of that day and of what he has gone through since then. “It was as if the whole thing [the bus] was torn altogether, from all sides”, Sharabi said in court. He suffered severe injuries in his leg and needed months of treatments and operations to overcome the injury.
Khaled Zoubi, a police officer who was in a nearby car at the time of the explosion, described from the stand what he saw: “people without heads, legs, body limbs, livers, hearts, all kinds of body parts that were flying even across the street”.
Prosecutors in the case presented the court with photos from the Megiddo attack scene, despite attempts of the defense to get the judge to prevent showing the pictures….
The prosecution intends to bring more Israeli witnesses in order to demonstrate to the jury the horror of the terrorist attacks that the Islamic Jihad carried out.
Documents presented to the court by the prosecution, detail phone conversation between Al-Arian and other defendants, in which they discuss the Megiddo attack. In the wiretaps, Hatim Fariz, one of the defendants, is heard calling Al-Arian and asking him whether he “heard the news. “You sound chipper”, Al-Arian responds….
Al-Arian pleaded not guilty to all charges. He claims that his actions a legitimate form of showing support to the Palestinian cause.