AP Questions Barghouti’s Terror Conviction

Israel prides itself on the strength of its judicial system and the rule of law, which is certainly comparable to those of other Western democracies such as the U.S. or UK.

Palestinian terror leader Marwan Barghouti was convicted in a civilian trial in an Israeli courtroom in 2004. But how does the Associated Press describe him?

According to several top officials, the Palestinians are seeking the freedom of Marwan Barghouti, who is serving multiple life sentences for his alleged role in killings of Israelis, as part of any plan to extend negotiations with Israel beyond an April deadline.

The term “alleged” is commonly used, including by the media, to describe something yet to be proved. In the case of a criminal legal case, it would describe someone who has yet to be convicted.

As the Jewish Virtual Library notes, Barghouti was convicted

of murder for his involvement three terrorist attacks in Israel that killed five people. He was acquitted for 33 other murders due to lack of evidence of his direct involvement in those crimes.

Barghouti was also convicted of a charge of attempted murder, membership in a terror organization and conspiring to commit a crime. The prosecution was seeking to sentence him to five consecutive life terms. The court said in its verdict that “Barghouti was responsible for providing the field units with money and arms….” The judges said that the attacks were sometimes “based on instructions” from Yasser Arafat.

The court found Barghouti responsible for a June 2001 attack in Maale Adumim, in which a Greek monk was murdered, a January 2002 terror attack on a gas station in Givat Zeev, a March 2002 attack at Tel Aviv’s Seafood Market restaurant, in which three people were murdered, and a car bomb attack in Jerusalem.

That the AP still considers Barghouti to have been convicted for “his alleged role” in these terrorist crimes implies that the news wire service questions the credibility of Israel’s justice system.

Israel isn’t a police state or a banana republic where criminals do not receive a fair trial. That Barghouti was acquitted for 33 other murders due to lack of evidence is further proof that Israel does not convict without due process. So why then does the AP still refer to Barghouti’s “alleged” crimes?

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Image via YouTube / Fatah Youth Germany