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An East Jerusalem resident was sentenced on Thursday to 12 years in prison and three years probation for planning to assassination Shas spiritual leader Rabbi Ovadia Yosef.

Musa Darwish, 22 years old and a member of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, scouted Yosef's neighborhood to evaluate access routes and to evaluate the rabbi's security arrangements.

Darwish was nabbed when he made an attempt to obtain a Kalashnikov assault rifle with which he planned to murder Yosef.

Jerusalem District Court also convicted Darwish of throwing firebombs at vehicles on the Jerusalem-Ma'aleh Adumim road.

The sentencing judges wrote, "Darwish planned to assassinate a top-level public figure - a primary rabbi in Israel. If the plan to assassinate Rabbi Yosef was to have been successful, the fierce fire would have threatened the security situation in the country. Boundless hatred would have spread across the country in all its demented forms."