TEL AVIV Ñ Israel has sentenced a Palestinian convicted of being an
Al Qaida agent ordered to stage an attack that would result in massive
Nabil Okal was sentenced by a military court to 27 years in the first
prosecution of an alleged Al Qaida agent captured by Israel. Okal, 29, was
said to have received financing from Hamas and orders from Al Qaida to train
Palestinians+ in chemical weapons.
The Israeli indictment against Okal does not accuse him of being a
formal member of Al Qaida. Instead, Okal was said to have trained with Al
Qaida in Afghanistan, where he received instruction in bombing Israeli
From Afghanistan, Okal was to have returned to the Gaza Strip to
organize cells for attacks against Israel. Okal was said to have received
training in assembling a range of bombs, including those filled with toxic
The indictment said Okal was a member of Hamas and loaned to Al Qaida
for training. Hamas leader Ahmed Yassin was said to have given Okal and
another detainee, Mohammed Abu Libdeh, $5,000 for additional training in
Afghanistan. Okah was arrested in June 2000 as he tried to leave the Gaza
Strip for Afghanistan.
For his part, Okal denied any link to Al Qaida. He acknowledged that he
received training in Afghanistan.