Park Hotel Bombing Mastermind Also Planned Mass Poisoning

The Hamas leader convicted of murdering 35 Israelis in two separate terror attacks in Netanya also planned a mass poisoning, it was revealed in Tel Aviv District Court yesterday.

Abbas al-Sayed, the commander of Hamas' military wing in the Tul Karm area, was tried for planning bombings at Netanya's Park Hotel during Passover 2002 and at the Hasharon Mall in May 2001.

The court's ruling revealed that Al-Sayed's nephew, Tarik Zeidan, a pharmacist, bought four kilograms of cyanide in Jordan, and that he gave the poison to his uncle following the Park Hotel bombing. The cyanide was meant to be used in a mass poisoning of Israelis.

Al-Sayed, 39, was arrested by Israel Defense Forces soldiers during Operation Defensive Shield in May 2002. During his interrogation he was asked by security authorities to have Hamas operatives hand over the cyanide to Israel.

Testimony from the chief Shin Bet investigator on the case revealed that security forces attempted to capture the Hamas men named by Al-Sayed. However, they have evaded capture to this day.

Al-Sayed, who also served as the Hamas spokesman in Tul Karm, was also convicted last month of receiving explosive materials from Hamas operatives in Syria. He had also received thousands of dollars to finance his terror operations.

Prosecutor Zamira Goldner will ask the court to give Al-Sayed consecutive life sentences. His conviction was unanimously supported by the three judges hearing the case.