Scene of stabbing in South Tel Aviv.
(photo credit: BEN HARTMAN)
Raed Khalil bin Mahmoud was sentenced to two life sentences plus 20 years by the Tel Aviv District Court on Monday for a rampage in which he murdered Reuven Aviram 51, from Ramle, and Aharon Yisayev 32, from Holon, and attempted to murder three others.
The terrorist in the Tel Aviv Panorama Building stabbings was also fined NIS 700,000 in compensation for the victims’ families.
The 36-year-old Palestinian father of five, from the West Bank town of Dura near Hebron, had a 30-day residency permit in Israel and was working at a local restaurant when he carried out the attack in November 2015.
The attack began at around 2 p.m., when Mahmoud walked to the second floor of the Panorama building on Ben-Zvi Street and began stabbing worshipers at a minha (afternoon prayer) service being held inside a Judaica store.
One worshiper, Shimon Vaknin, said that moments after the prayer service began, he saw a man covered in blood enter the store and fall onto a group of people praying. Mahmoud then tried to continue the assault inside the store, but was pushed back by worshipers, who held the doors closed as he tried to force his way back in.
Outside the store he continued his attack and stabbed another man to death before fleeing to a lower floor. On the next level he stabbed another man and was chased into a shoe warehouse, where civilians overpowered him, holding him until police arrived.
The Panorama is a doughnut- shaped building of open floors with a ramp to the top. The building is open to the street and is easily entered without a security check.
Alex Aviram, the brother of Reuven, said “For a year we waited for this moment.
The judges determined what the murderer deserved. He will not get to leave jail, will not see sunlight, will not feel the ground, will not see his family, the harshest penalty he could receive.”
Mahmoud worked legally at a restaurant near the scene of the attack and had no history of security offenses.Ben Hartman contributed to this report.