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article imageIsrael sentences 3 Palestinians to life over Tel Aviv attack

By AFP     Nov 29, 2017 in Crime

An Israeli court on Wednesday sentenced three Palestinians to life in prison over a gun attack that left four people dead at a popular Tel Aviv nightspot in 2016.

Cousins Mohammad Makhamrah and Khaled Makhamrah, the gunmen, and accomplice Younes Zein were found guilty last month of four counts of murder and 41 counts of attempted murder over the June 2016 attack at Sarona Market, a restaurant and shopping complex.

On Wednesday, the Tel Aviv district court sentenced each to four consecutive life sentences, one for each death, and an additional 60 years for the 41 counts of attempted murder.

The three were also ordered by the court to pay the families of the deceased and wounded compensation, the sentencing read.

Israeli security officials said the two gunmen, 20 and 21 at the time of the attack, were inspired by the Islamic State group.

In the incident at the Sarona Market, the Makhamrah cousins walked into a busy cafe wearing suits and carrying briefcases, blending with the crowd before opening fire on customers at random.

Three people were shot dead, while a fourth died of a heart attack. Four people were seriously wounded, while another 37 suffered lighter injuries or shock, the court said.

Zein supplied the weapons and helped plan the assault, the court said.

The Shin Bet domestic security agency which interrogated the men has said they wanted to carry out "a revenge attack against Israel in the name of the Islamic State" group during the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan.

A wave of violence that broke out in October 2015 has claimed the lives of at least 303 Palestinians or Israeli Arabs, 51 Israelis, two Americans, two Jordanians, one Eritrean, one Sudanese and one Briton, according to an AFP count.

Most of the Palestinians killed were carrying out knife, gun or car-ramming attacks, according to Israeli authorities.

Others were shot dead during protests or clashes, while some were killed in Israeli air strikes on the Gaza Strip.

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