How Palestinian terrorist jailed for car bomb attack on Israel Embassy FINDS love with one of Britain’s top economics professors


A convicted Palestinian terrorist, jailed for a car bomb attack on the Israeli Embassy in London, has found love with one of Britain’s top economics professors.

What happened

Jawad Botmeh, 55, was sentenced to 20 years in jail in 1996 after he was found guilty of conspiracy to cause explosions in the UK.

He was released in 2008 and is in a relationship with an academic who campaigned for his freedom and visited him in prison.

Mr Botmeh now lives in a house in a leafy north London street with Dr Elisa van Waeyenberge, who is professor in development economics at the London university SOAS, the School of Oriental and African Studies.

SOAS has been one of the universities most criticised for failing to prevent hostility towards Jews.

The terror attack killed hundreds including babies

The day after the Hamas terror attack on Israel which killed hundreds including babies, the University’s Palestinian Society posted a celebratory message with a clenched fist emoji and the text: ‘The Palestinian people have the right to resist occupation by any means necessary’.

The couple make no secret of their continued interest in the conflict over Gaza and fly a Palestinian flag from the first-floor window of their home where houses sell for more than £1.5 million.

The flag has been painted onto cardboard with the message ‘We ❤️ Palestine’ and placed for all to see behind a windowsill flower ornament.

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Mr Botmeh waved his partner off as she cycled away from their home and informed he had put his violent past behind him.

‘I have been living quietly for many years and I have got a family’, he said.

‘I am not a public figure. I have got nothing to say, not to you, not to anyone. I haven’t said anything to anybody and really I am not interested.’

But he said of the situation in Gaza: ‘It is a sad thing that we are all seeing.’

Why he was jailed

Mr Botmeh was involved in a bombing campaign against Jewish targets in London with banker’s daughter Samar Alami who was aged 30.

Businessman Mr Botmeh, who was 28 at the time of the bombings and his accomplice came from well-to-do families and went to English universities.

But Mr Botmeh’s defence team argued that the bombs were intended to be only ‘symbolic against symbolic targets’ and were timed to go off when they would cause limited injuries.

The judge, however, gave each of the terrorists a 20-year sentence.

How he finds love behind bars

It was while he was jailed that Dr van Waeyenberge struck up a friendship which developed into a relationship when he was released.

She shared a flat with Mr Jawed’s sister Samia and accompanied her flat mate to visit her brother in jail.

Dr van Waeyenberge told a local newspaper: ‘We started calling on a regular basis. That is the context in which it developed. It was a friendship and then the feelings on both sides changed.’

She was convinced of his innocence as he had claimed during his trial.

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She added: ‘If you look at it a bit more closely, there is no doubt about his innocence.’

She described his conviction as ‘a classic case of being set up. They were experimenting with explosives but that was just silly. It was misjudged.’

Life in prison

While in prison, he taught himself to paint and create art ceramics and his artworks were displayed in a London gallery while he was still in prison.

One piece was labelled ‘Love Behind Bars’ and he wrote a speech for Dr van Waeyenberge to read out which said: ‘Inspiration came when I fell in love with a special person.’

While in prison he studied for a Master’s degree in Peace and Reconciliation studies in 2006.

His thesis, available online, ended with him thanking her.

Many vote of thanks

He wrote: ‘I am indebted to many people, more so than usual because this study was conducted behind bars, and I depended entirely upon their support to complete this dissertation.

‘I single out for special acknowledgment my partner Elisa Van Waeyenberge and thank her for her love, encouragement, guidance and for inspiring me to do this study, and for helping me with her formidable research skills and intellect to research, resource, disentangle, discuss, and finally edit this topic . . . without Elisa I could not have done this dissertation therefore, I am deeply grateful.’

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Ola Alabi
Ola Moses is a certified writer, He writes technically and creatively. He is the CEO of WORDSWORTH, a house where writing is made easier for all. He is a content creator at EsB TV, since 2019. He is a young man that showcases professionalism in all that he does, he was announced as Child and Green Foundation Person of the Year 2018, one of his many lists of honours.


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