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Israel Could Impose Death Penalty on Three Convicted of Firebombing

December 14, 1989
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The possibility of capital punishment remained open following the multiple murder conviction of three terrorists in a Ramallah military court Wednesday.

The accused, all residents of Jericho, were found guilty of firebombing an Egged bus on the northern outskirts of Jericho last year.

Rachel Weiss and her children — Netanel, 4; Rafael, 2; and Ephraim, 21 months at the time — were trapped inside and burned to death.

An Israel Defense Force soldier, David Delorosa, died of asphyxiation while trying to rescue passengers.

The military prosecutor said a request for capital punishment was considered in this case, but after consultations with “senior echelons” it was decided to demand life imprisonment.

The court hinted, however, that a death sentence has not been ruled out. “The request of the prosecutor does not oblige us,” it stated.

Sentences will be handed down next week.

Israel has executed only one person in its history: Nazi war criminal Adolf Eichmann.

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