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Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Man given 3 years in jail for role in bombing at Nazareth church

Last update - 15:43 13/12/2006

Man given 3 years in jail for role in bombing at Nazareth church

By Eli Ashkenazi, Haaretz Correspondent

The Nazareth Regional Court on Wednesday sentenced Haim Habbibi to three years
imprisonment for detonating explosives within the Church of the Annunciation
in Nazareth last March. His wife Violet Habbibi was given a six-month
suspended sentence for her role in the crime.

The Habbibi couple was convicted in September of conspiring to commit a crime,
incitement, general mayhem, and unruly behavior in a public place.

Last March, the couple and their daughter Odelia, entered the Church of the
Annunciation in Nazareth carrying dozens of firecrackers and other explosive
devices, including 19 gas containers and bottles full of flammable liquid.

The couple then detonated several explosive devices within the church, leading
to intense riots around the church as Nazareth residents rushed to the church
fearing an attack on a Christian holy site was taking place.

After several hours, police were able to get the crowds under control and
spirit the couple out of the church.

In the original indictment, the couple and their daughter were charged with
attempted property damage through the use of explosives, a charge that was
later dropped of part of a plea bargain. A charge of assault leveled against
Violet and all charges against the daughter were also dropped in the plea

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