Scene of stabbing attack in Pisgat Ze'ev.
(photo credit: MDA)
The 11-year-old Palestinian boy who was shot after stabbing a light rail security guard with his cousin, 14, in Jerusalem’s Pisgat Ze’ev neighborhood last month, has been transferred to a juvenile detention facility, as the court deliberates how to proceed with its limited prosecutorial oversight.
The child, a sixth-grader from east Jerusalem’s Shuafat neighborhood, was released from hospital on Tuesday after convalescing there for over three weeks following the November 11 attack that left the guard with stab wounds to his head and chest.
The Welfare and Social Services Ministry authorized the move, however, due to the boy’s age, could not publicly state which detention facility the child was sent to, or the duration of his time there.
Because Israel’s minimum age for legal prosecution is 12, the boy – who as the youngest assailant to date, has become a jarring symbol of the capital’s numerous knife attacks carried out by minors since the wave of attacks began in October – presents a conundrum for the court.
Indeed, pending a recent bill submitted by legislators to lower the minimum age of prosecution, the state may ultimately be forced to release him to the custody of his parents. His cousin, however, is old enough to formally be prosecuted and sentenced to a juvenile detention facility.
An official working on the case, who requested anonymity due to the boy’s age, said the youth’s stay at the detention center will likely be brief.
“We won’t be able to hold him there for long,” the official told Walla News! “Ultimately there will be no other choice but to release him... The state has absolutely no idea what to do with him.”
In a transcript released by the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) this month, the 11-year-old said he and his cousin planned the stabbing to avenge the death of their terrorist cousin, 19, who was shot dead on October 10 near Damascus Gate after stabbing two police officers there.
“I wanted to die as a shahid [martyr], but now I understand I made a mistake, and I am sorry,” he said during interrogation.
In a separate interrogation, his 14-yearold 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.