3 Israeli Arabs Found Guilty of Planning Tel Aviv, Netanya Attacks

The three Taibeh residents admit plotting to blow up railway tracks, Azrieli skyscraper complex.

Tel Aviv District Court on Sunday found three Israeli Arabs guilty of planning to carry out a terrorist attack by placing explosives on a railway track near Netanya.

The three - Taibeh residents Amin Zayuti, Mujahad Dukan, and Sofian Nussirath - confessed as part of a plea bargain which would see them jailed for a maximum sentence of 15 years.

Two of the three also admitted that they had discussed to possibility of bombing the Azrieli Center skyscrapers in Tel Aviv, the tallest buildings in Israel and located opposite the Defense Ministry compound in the city.

Dukan was born in Balata refugee camp in the West Bank city of Nablus, and moved to Taibeh after receiving Israeli citizenship in 2000.

During one of his frequent visits to Balata, he made contact with Jamal Katawi, a wanted militant who enlisted him in the ranks of the Al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades, the militant group with links to the Fatah movement.

Dukan was supposed to receive three explosive devices from his West Bank contact, smuggle them into Israel and blow them up on the railway tracks near Netanya using a detonator in a cellular phone. Zayuti was to have been in charge of placing the bombs on the railway track.

The published section of the court proceedings does not say how the men were caught, but the document referred to several witnesses by one-word pseudonyms, a style which often refers to intelligence agents.

The transcript says that while they were reconnoitering the railway line, Zayuti suggested to Dukan that it would be possible to also plant a bomb in the Azrieli complex.

There is no indication in the document that the idea was ever taken any further.