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Palestinian-Jordanian bus bomber freed from Israeli prison, gets hero’s welcome

A Palestinian-Jordanian man jailed in Israel after planting a bomb on a bus that wounded 13 civilians in 2000 is released after serving his 20-year sentence.

Abdullah Abu Jaber, 46, is welcomed with flowers and shouts of joy by his family after he enters Jordan across the Sheikh Hussein Bridge.

Abu Jaber, originally from Jordan’s Baqaa refugee camp, hid a bomb on a bus in Tel Aviv on December 28, 2000, detonating it remotely and wounding 13 people. He was arrested the following day.

According to the Israeli charge sheet, Jaber was recruited by the armed wing of Fatah in Nablus, in the West Bank, and had entered Israel illegally.

Upon his release, he calls for rival Palestinian factions Fatah and the Hamas to end their long division and form a common front against Israel.

“I hope that the Palestinians will be united again,” he says, adding the differences extended to Palestinians inside Israeli prisons.

Yunis Abu Sil, a member of the Palestinian National Council, the PLO’s legislative arm, says he is “very happy” and calls Jaber a “hero.”

Palestinian-Jordanian Abdullah Abu Jaber, who was jailed in Israel after planting a bomb on a bus that wounded 13 civilians in 2000, is welcomed by his family upon his release at the Sheikh Hussein Crossing between Jordan and Israel on June 8, 2021. (Khalil MAZRAAWI / AFP)
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