11-year-old Palestinian boy says he stabbed light rail guard ‘to die a martyr’

Shin Bet releases transcript of confession.

November 26, 2015 20:24
2 minute read.
Jerusalem light rail

Jerusalem light rail.. (photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)


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The 11-year-old Palestinian boy who stabbed a light rail guard with his cousin, 14, in  Jerusalem’s Pisgat Ze’ev two weeks ago, told the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) that the duo were motivated by revenge to “die a martyr,” a transcript of his interrogation revealed.

In the transcript, released by Shin Bet on Thursday, the unidentified child from Shuafat said he met his cousin on November 11 at the entrance to their school, where they were denied entry because their parents did not pay tuition costs.

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“My cousin told me that on the way to school he wanted to carry out a stabbing attack, but didn’t succeed because all the people were senior citizens,” he said, noting that the two did not want to harm the elderly.

“We travelled from Shuafat to Damascus Gate in order to stab a soldier, but didn’t do it because the soldiers were in groups and we didn’t find one standing alone.”

“Then [my cousin] told me ‘let’s do an attack together to avenge the death of Muhammad Ali,” the boy said of their terrorist cousin, 19, who was shot dead on October 10 by Damascus Gate after stabbing two police officers there. 

While the 14-year-old had a knife in his bag, the 11-year-old said he did not have a weapon, so bought scissors at an area store before boarding the light rail to “look for Jews to stab.”

When the boys saw two security guards aboard, he said they waited until one of them exited the train to improve their odds of killing one. CCTV footage released by police shows the children anxiously waiting to attack the lone guard.

“I stabbed him in his head and my cousin stabbed him in his chest and stomach until the guard pushed me and fired three bullets in my stomach,” said the 11-year-old, who was treated at the scene by Magen David Adom paramedics, while his cousin was subdued by passengers.

The unidentified guard, 25, who was lightly wounded, was able to shoot the 11-year old.

Near the conclusion of his interrogation, the boy said, “I wanted to die as a shahid [martyr], but now I understand I made a mistake, and I am sorry.”

“I want to be in school like any normal person,” he continued. “I don’t want to resist the occupation any longer. I didn’t want to kill… I’m a minor and I should go home.”

In a separate interrogation, his older cousin cited the occupation and situation in Gaza as his motivation for carrying out the attack.

“I wanted to kill the Jews who are torturing us,” he said.

Due to the 11-year-old’s age, the state will ultimately be forced to release him to the custody of his parents. His cousin, however, is old enough to be prosecuted and sentenced to a juvenile detention facility.

Following the attack, legislatures submitted a bill to lower the minimum age of prosecution. 

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