2 years later: Court clears Palestinian suspect of planning Eilat terror attack

Two years ago, a Palestinian Jerusalem resident was arrested on suspicion of planning a terror attack at an Eilat hotel in order to avenge the death of his friend, who carried out a stabbing attack. Today, in a surprising ruling, the court acquitted him: “There is no evidence as a whole proving the defendant’s guilt beyond reasonable doubt.”
The hotel where the suspect allegedly planned the terror attack Photo Credit: Sassi Horesh/Channel 2 News

Palestinian Khalil Nimri, who was arrested in December 2015 on suspicion of planning a terror attack at an Eilat hotel, was acquitted today (Thursday) of the serious offense attributed to him in the indictment, conspiracy to assist an enemy in war, and will be released from detention. 

Upon his arrest, it was suspected that Nimri planned the terror attack in order to avenge the death of his friend, who was eliminated by Israeli security forces while carrying out a stabbing attack. The reasoning behind the ruling, which constitutes a blow to both the Israeli State Prosecutor’s Office and the Shin Bet, will be sent within 30 days.

Judges Ariel Vago, Alon Einfeld and Ariel Hazak from the Be’er Sheva District Court wrote: “During the processing of the evidence and the beginning of writing the verdict, we came to a conclusion that even assuming that the defendant’s confession and the witness’s testimony during the interrogation are admissible, there is still no evidence as a whole proving the defendant’s guilt beyond reasonable doubt.”

The judges announced that they decided to publish the acquittal as soon as possible “given the defendant’s ongoing detention” even though they have yet to explain their reasoning in detail.



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