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Confessed Israeli Killer Arrested

September 14, 1999

JERUSALEM (AP) _ The confessed killer of two Israeli hikers was charged with murder Tuesday and accused of planning to use the couple’s car to carry out a bombing attack.

Abdullah Akbariya was indicted in Nazareth District Court in the Aug. 29 stabbing deaths of Sharon Steinmetz and Yehiel Shai Fuenfter in northern Israel’s Megiddo forest.

Prosecutors said Akbariya stole the couple’s car after killing them and planned to use it to carry out a bombing attack. He was arrested before the planned bombing.

Akbariya, an Israeli Arab, has confessed to the killings, saying he wanted to kill Jews. He said he did not want a lawyer, but the court said it would assign him a public defender.

The stabbings, along with two botched car bombings by Israeli Arabs last week, have raised concern in Israel about a possible new domestic threat to security. Israeli Arab leaders have condemned the violence and stressed that it is the work of a few isolated individuals.

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