Tel Aviv terror attack 311.
(photo credit: REUTERS/ Nir Elias)
The Tel Aviv District Court convicted a 21-year-old Kalkilya man of attempted
murder on Sunday, in connection with a terror attack in south Tel Aviv last
The court also convicted Mohammed Bin Said Zofan of four other
charges: injury with serious intent, robbery, illegal residency and conspiracy
to commit a crime.
Eight people were injured in the terror attack, in
which Zofan carjacked a taxi at knifepoint and rammed it into Border Police
officers Or Hakim and Albert Sabah, and a civilian bystander, Itay Weinberg,
before stabbing several others.
The panel of judges – comprised of Sarah
Dotan, Daphna Avnieli and Shaul Shohet – convicted Zofan after he agreed through
an interpreter to retract his earlier not guilty plea and admitted the charges
Following the conviction, the State Attorney’s Office said
the prosecution had not agreed to a plea bargain since the severity of the
offenses did not justify any relief to the defendant, who was apprehended at the
scene and admitted to carrying out the offenses for nationalistic
The court will hear arguments for sentencing on April
A second defendant, 21- year-old south Tel Aviv resident Muhammad Bin
Saddam Hussein Biari, was also charged in connection with the terror attack –
with conspiracy to commit a crime, failure to prevent a crime and destroying
According to the indictment filed in September, in 2011 Zofan
was living in Israel illegally, working at odd jobs and sleeping in an abandoned
apartment next to the Siksik Mosque in Jaffa.
Zofan met Biari, an Arab-
Israeli from Jaffa, while praying at the mosque. The two then began to plan a
By July 2011, Zofan had started a course of physical
training for the terror attack. He practiced using weapons such as knives and
sticks in his apartment.
On August 12, during Ramadan, Zofan and Biari
hatched a plot to stab members of Israeli security forces and civilian Jewish
Israelis near the Aksa Mosque in Jerusalem.
They bought two knives and
traveled by bus to the capital, staying at the Aksa Mosque for two
After speaking to a cleric at the mosque, however, Zofan told his
friend that he had decided to act alone and would return to Jaffa to become a
“martyr.” Before he left, Zofan used Biari’s cellphone to record a short film of
himself for his parents.
On August 28, Zofan went to the new central bus
station in Tel Aviv, planning to stab a soldier, steal his gun and shoot Border
Police officers. When he failed to find a suitable victim, he noticed a tractor
on a building site on Yedidia Frenkel Street in the Florentin
Zofan decided to steal the tractor and use it to run over
That night, Zofan returned to the construction site but could
not find the tractor. He decided to hijack a taxi instead and used it to attack
officers standing at the nearby intersection of Abarbanel and Salameh
Biari was arrested shortly afterward, but had already deleted
Zofan’s movie from his cellphone.
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