Palestinian Yasin Abu al-Qur’a, 24, was indicted on Thursday on charges of terrorist activity, attempted murder and illegally entering Israel as a result of stabbing and critically wounding security guard Asher Elmaliach outside the Jerusalem Central Bus Station on December 10.
The indictment ties Abu al-Qur’a’s actions to US President Donald Trump’s recent declaration recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.
“The accused [Abu al-Qur’a] heard about Trump’s declaration via Facebook,” the document reads. “The accused resented the declaration and decided to carry out a stabbing attack, to murder Jews in Jerusalem. This, he claimed, was to defend Jerusalem and the Aksa Mosque. The accused planned to stab as many Jews as possible until he [himself] was killed and thus become a shahid [martyr].”
The night before the attack, Abu al-Qur’a posted on Facebook a phrase he remembered from his school years: “For God we have risen, wishing to wave our flag, to restore our religion to its might, to restore al-Aksa to its might, that our blood will be spilled. Our blood is cheap for our homeland and for al-Aksa.”
The indictment goes into the details of Abu al-Qur’a’s route on the day of the attack: After saying goodbye to his friends and family, he went to the village of Barta’a in the northern West Bank, just over the Green Line to buy a knife with an 11 centimeter blade. He then went to the central bus station in Hadera, and took a direct taxi to Jerusalem – which cost him NIS 500 ($120).
At the bus station, he was asked to go through the metal detector. When he saw that Elmaliach
– the guard who checked him – was Jewish, he pulled the knife from his jacket and stabbed him.
A will that he had drafted was found on his phone. It reads: “Brother O brother, look after mother and father. And sister, don’t worry about me. For my homeland I sacrificed my blood, anything for you, O Palestine.”
The Jerusalem District Prosecutor asked the court to extend Abu al-Qur’a’s remand until the end of his legal proceedings.
The Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) addressed the fact that Abu al-Qur’a used quotes in his will that appear in Palestinian Authority school textbooks, and said: “This attack highlights the extreme incitement that the Palestinians in the West Bank are exposed to, and the influence of their curriculums. They are a factor that inspires and pushes them to carry out terrorist attacks against Israel.”
On Sunday, a spokeswoman for Shaare Zedek Medical Center said in a press release that Elmaliach’s condition is improving.
Elmaliach was disconnected from life support during the weekend but is still in critical condition; he is still in a coma and is connected to a respiratory assistance device in the hospital’s intensive care unit, the release said.
Last week, the spokeswoman told The Jerusalem Post
that Elmaliach is no longer considered in imminent mortal danger.
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