Karen A ship: its captain sentenced for 25 year imprisonment
Palestine-Israel, Politics, 10/19/2004
The Israeli Erez military court yesterday sentenced to 25 year imprisonment against Ali Omar Akkawi, captain of the "Karen A ship" that is accused of smuggling weapons for the Palestinians in 2002. The case which was exploited by Israel then, to confirm through it the role played by the Hizbullah party in arming the Palestinian Intifada.
In the course of the same case, the court sentenced the Palestinians Riad Abdullah and Ahmad Khreis to 17 year imprisonment per each.
Israel had accused officials close to the Palestinian Authority of buying the ship for $ 400,000 and the weapons for $ 15 million. Israel and the USA accused Iran and Hizbullah of being involved in this case despite their denial. The Israeli efforts yielded in convincing the administration of the US President George W. Bush of boycotting the Palestinian President Yasser Arafat since then, when the spokesman for the White House accused him of being a liar in denying his involvement in the question of the ship.
According to the Israeli daily Yadhout Ahronot, it is clear from the list of accusations that Akkawai was the mastermind for the attempts to smuggle the weapons for the Palestinian Authority. Akkawi failed in the beginning to arrange two travels to smuggle the weapons, whose source was the Hizbullah in Lebanon. In the third time, the sailors of "Santorini ship which carried scores of containers filled with weapons to reach al-Areish coats and then throw it in the sea to float until the coasts of Gaza, But the Israeli navy also foiled this attempt.
According to the details given by the list of accusations, the fourth convicted man, Sallam al-Sankari who was released within the deal with Hizbullah, traveled to Lebanon and was trained by Hizbullah members. During that time "Reem X" ship was bought in Lebanon and he changed its name to "Karen A."
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