The scene after a stabbing attack outside the West Bank settlement of Ariel on February 5, 2018..
(photo credit: HILLEL MEIR/TPS)
The Central District Attorney’s Office filed an indictment with the Lod District Court on Thursday against Israeli-Arab Abed al-Karim Adel Asi for the murder of Rabbi Itamar Ben-Gal outside the settlement of Ariel in February.
Asi was captured by security forces in Nablus along with several other suspects in mid-March.
“It was the culmination of extensive efforts since the terrorist attack, during which a number of accomplices, who are suspected of either helping [Asi] or knowing his whereabouts, were interrogated,” the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) said in a statement.
Asi, a 19-year-old Israeli resident of Jaffa, stabbed 29-year-old Ben-Gal while he was waiting at a bus stop near the entrance to the settlement of Ariel early last month. Ben-Gal was heading to his nephew’s brit mila.
He had acquired two 27-centimeter knives for the attack, according to the indictment.
After he was stabbed, Ben-Gal ran to a nearby stopped bus, knocking on the door before collapsing. An off-duty IDF officer who witnessed the attack hit Asi with his car. Despite being hit, Asi was able to escape from the scene with the help of an unidentified accomplice waiting in a vehicle nearby.
Asi had scouted the scene of the attack the previous day, taunting troops who were providing security at a nearby bus station. Due to his suspicious behavior, troops distanced him from civilians as they questioned him. After they ascertained that he was Israeli and released him, Asi swore at them saying: “I’ll remember your faces, you whores!”
Ben-Gal was buried in February in Har Bracha, the settlement where he lived with his wife and four children.
Also, on Thursday, the Haifa District Attorney’s Office filed an indictment against Malek Yusef Nahar Asadi in the Haifa District Court for nationalistically motivated attempted murder in Acre on March 4.
Police and Shin Bet interrogated Asadi, 26, a resident of Shfaram, who was arrested after a car-ramming attempt that injured four Israelis, including two IDF soldiers and a border policeman.
Asadi has tried to assert that he was just angry at having received a parking ticket, but he was charged with the aggravating factor of his crime being ideologically motivated.
The prosecution requested keeping both defendants in police custody until the end of their respective trials.Anna Ahronheim contributed to this report.
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