(photo credit: Judy Siegel-Itzkovich)
The Tel Aviv District Court on Thursday sentenced 15-year-old Sudanese citizen Mohammed Suleima to 18 years in prison for attempting to rape a nine-year-old girl and stabbing the girl’s mother in south Tel Aviv in March 2013.
In passing sentence, Judge X said that, “the children went to sleep in an innocent world and awoke in a world of darkness.”
The case drew national attention at the time because of the brutality involved and because of the ongoing public debate about the number of African migrants in south Tel Aviv, although police statistics have not shown the overall population involved in crime.
Suleima broke into the home, seemingly originally with a plan merely to steal certain items.
However, armed with a knife that he took from the kitchen, he explored the home until he saw the nineyear- old girl and her sevenyear- old brother and threatened them at knife point, seeking to rape the girl.
When the girl screamed, her mother came running to the scene, only to be stabbed in the stomach by Suleima.
Next, the father came running and succeeded in subduing Suleima until the police arrived.
Ultimately, the mother was not seriously injured despite the stab wound.
The court sentenced Suleima to near the maximum sentence on the grounds that his actions constituted extraordinary violence, harm to the family, and aggravated circumstances.
The sentence also included a two-year suspended sentence, which would apply for three years after Suleima is released from prison.
He was also fined NIS 60,000 for the attempted rape, NIS 40,000 for stabbing the mother, and NIS 20,000 each to the father and the son.