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.
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."