The Tel Aviv District Attorney's Office on Thursday filed an indictment with the Tel Aviv District Court against the January Tel Aviv stabber for attempted murder and other crimes. In early February, Hamza Matruch, 21, was sent for a psychiatric examination to see if he is fit to stand trial. While no announcement was made on the examination, the indictment represents at least the state's position that Matruch is fit to be charged.
Also in early February, a lawyer representing Matruch told The Jerusalem Post that he is being held at the Magen medical facility run by the Israel Prisons Service at the Ramle prison complex, where he is still receiving treatment for wounds he sustained in the attack. The lawyer, Dan Bowman, was handling the case temporarily, he said, adding that a new attorney would be appointed by the next hearing.Bowman said he had spoken to Matruch only once, in court on Monday, when he seemed to be “reasonable.” During the hearing Bowman quoted Matruch’s previous attorney, who had told him that “in his meetings with the suspect in custody, he was struck by strange behavior and actions that made it hard for him to gauge his mental state.”Matruch, a native of Tulkarm in the West Bank, had no prior record of security offenses when he allegedly stabbed more than a dozen commuters during an attack that began on a No. 40 bus in central Tel Aviv on the morning of January 21. He was shot in the leg by an Israel Prisons Service officer while attempting to flee and taken into custody.In a statement released after the stabbings, the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) said that Matruch set out from his home in Tulkarm for Tel Aviv on the morning of the attack inspired by last summer’s conflict in Gaza, unrest on the Temple Mount, and watching extremist Islamist content that glorifies martyrdom leading to “the reaching of heaven.”
Dramatic video of Tel Aviv terrorist pursuing victims as he flees bus