Footage of the teen terrorists behind the Pisgat Ze'ev terror attack in Jerusalem on October 12, 2015.
(photo credit: ISRAEL POLICE)
The 14-year-old Palestinian involved in a stabbing attack on two Israelis in October 2015 was sentenced by the Jerusalem District Court on Monday to 12 years in prison, based on a conviction for two counts of attempted murder.
He was also fined NIS 180,000 as compensation for the victims and their families.
CCTV footage released by the Israel Police, which went viral, showed the boy and his cousin chasing a terrified ultra-Orthodox man, whom the cousin had just stabbed twice, through Jerusalem’s Pisgat Ze’ev neighborhood, before giving up and looking for another victim.
Later on, the two can be seen running – their 15-cm. and 20-cm. knives still drawn – toward a candy store, where a 12-year-old Jewish boy is about to leave on his bicycle.
Seconds later, the cousin stabs him in the neck, seriously wounding him.
After falling to the ground, the boy is kicked by one of his assailants before the Palestinian teens flee as a male store patron begins to chase them.
The cousin was later gunned down by security forces.
Police footage of stabbing attack in Pisgat Ze'ev
According to the indictment, the minor, who was 13 at the time of the attack, and his cousin, who was 15, were drawn to act violently in an act of martyrdom, with the intent of killing Jews.
The 13-year-old identified with Hamas and the plight of the Palestinian people in Gaza and the West Bank, the indictment continued.
His lawyer, Lea Tsemel, has promised to appeal the conviction. She said the minor himself didn’t actually stab anyone, and that his cousin was the only assailant, a fact which the court confirmed.
Tsemel accused the court of convicting him of attempted murder instead of a lesser charge, because of the charged atmosphere in which any Palestinian teen who walks around with a knife can be shot or convicted of attempted murder.
Tsemel argued that it was unfair that Hebron shooter Elor Azaria and other Jews accused of attacking Arabs with knives have been charged with less serious crimes.
The court disagreed, and maintained that his involvement – which included accompanying his cousin and running after the victims with a knife – was enough to convict him of attempted murder.
There was reason to believe, at one point, that the boy might agree to a plea bargain to take advantage of more lenient sentencing guidelines for minors under 14. During that time, political officials even made a push to change the law so that in the future, minors under 14 could receive harsher punishments for violent crimes.
However, the minor decided to contest the case, rendering the issue irrelevant.
During a speech on Palestinian television, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas erroneously claimed the 14-year-old was “executed in cold blood” by “Jewish settlers” after a video of him being wounded emerged.
“We will not give up to the logic of brute force, policies of occupation and aggression... by the Israeli government and the herd of settlers who are engaged in terrorism against our people, our holy places... the execution of our children in cold blood, as they did with the child...and other children from Jerusalem,” he said.
Abbas’s remarks prompted the Israeli government to release video and still photographs of the boy lying in his hospital bed in order to refute the PA leader’s claims. When it became apparent that the boy was alive, the Palestine Liberation Organization issued a redacted version of Abbas’s speech, this time indicating that the minor was “shot” rather than “executed.”