The Tel Aviv District Court on Tuesday convicted Hassan Matruch of Tulkarm as part of a plea bargain relating to his stabbing attack in Tel Aviv in January.Matruch is likely to receive 28 years in prison for the attack, according to the plea deal.He stabbed 12 passengers on a Dan No. 40 bus on January 21.
Following the attack, the IDF, guided by the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency), raided three homes in Samaria belonging to Matruch’s family.Nine other passengers were treated for shock.Matruch was taken into custody the day after the attack.Prisons Services officers, who happened to be in a vehicle behind the bus when Matruch attacked, shot him in the leg and arrested him.During initial questioning, Matruch said he had purchased a large knife in Tulkarm, crossed the Green Line illegally, and carried out the attack.He said he was motivated by last summer’s conflict in the Gaza Strip, unrest on the Temple Mount, and watching extremist Islamist content that glorified “the reaching of heaven,” the Shin Bet said.Matruch was taken to the hospital for treatment after his arrest.The attack near the Ma’ariv junction began with Matruch stabbing bus driver Herzl Biton, 62, repeatedly in the upper body.The bus began swerving in its lane as Biton, who had been on the job for more than two decades, fought with the terrorist.The lurching bus caught the attention of officers from the Prisons Service’s Nahshon Unit, who were driving behind the bus on their way to the Tel Aviv courthouse to pick up detainees. When the officers saw the bus come to a stop and passengers fleeing, they chased the terrorist as he fled through parking lots and alleyways toward Hamasger Street.One of the officers shot Matruch in the leg, and they placed him under arrest.Moments after the attack Biton, who suffered abdominal and internal injuries, called a colleague from the Dan Bus Cooperative to tell him he feared for his life and if he died, to take care of his children.
Dramatic video of Tel Aviv terrorist pursuing victims as he flees bus