An Israeli Military Court today (Monday) sentenced two young Arab girls to life imprisonment for their part in the hijacking of a Belgian airliner last May.
SV Accused girls take places in dock
SV Court rises
GV Military judges sit
SV Accused listening to verdict
CU Tribunal President Alpern speaks
SCU Halasseh listens PAN & ZOOM IN TO Tannous
SV Alpern speaks APN TO accused in dock
SV Tribunal rises & leaves
SV Condemned girls interpreter & guard leaving dock
Initials SGM/0359 SGM/0317
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Background: An Israeli Military Court today (Monday) sentenced two young Arab girls to life imprisonment for their part in the hijacking of a Belgian airliner last May. The three judges in Sarafand passed the sentence by a majority ruling -- two advocated life imprisonment, the third favoured the death penalty for the two accused, 21-year-old Rima Tannous and 19-year-old Therose Halasseh.
The judges rejected the girls' claims that they had been unwilling tools of the male hijackers on May 8 and 9, when they held 100 passengers and crew of a Sabena aircraft hostage at Lydda Airport, demanding the release of hundreds of Arab guerrillas from Israeli prisons. The two girls were the only survivors - their two male partners were shot dead when Israeli troops stormed the aircraft disguised as maintenance men.
In the passing of sentence, Tribunal President Lieutenant-Colonel Ayaron Alpern said the girls had "willingly and knowingly" participated in a "barbaric deed of holding innocent hostages under threat of explosives to secure the release of criminals."