Teen Palestinian Pisgat Ze'ev attacker convicted; Attorney: He just wanted to scare Jews
His lawyer, Lea Tsemel, vowed an appeal, saying that the minor, himself, had not actually stabbed anyone and just wanted to scare the Jews.
By YONAH JEREMY BOB, JPOST.COM STAFFUpdated: MAY 11, 2016 00:57
The 14-year-old Palestinian involved in a stabbing attack on two Israelis in Pisgat Ze’ev in October along with his only slightly older cousin was convicted of two counts of attempted murder by the Jerusalem District Court on Tuesday.He was also convicted of illegal possession of a knife.CCTV footage released by the Israel Police, which went viral, showed the two cousins chasing a terrified haredi Israeli man, who the cousin had just stabbed twice in Jerusalem’s Pisgat Ze’ev neighborhood, before giving up and looking for a new victim.The two can then be seen running with their 15- and 20-centimeter knives still drawn toward a candy store that a 12-yearold Jewish boy exits to get on his bicycle.Seconds later, the cousin is seen stabbing him in the neck, seriously wounding him. After falling to the ground, the Jewish boy is kicked by one of his assailants, before the Palestinian teens flee the scene when a male store patron gives chase.The cousin was later gunned down by security forces.According to the indictment, the minor, who was 13 at the time of the attack, and his cousin, who was 15, were drawn to act violently in an act of martyrdom with the intent of killing Jews.The indictment said the then 13-yearold identified with Hamas and the “plight” of the Palestinian people in Gaza and the West Bank. His lawyer, Lea Tsemel, vowed an appeal, saying that the minor himself had not actually stabbed anyone and just wanted to scare Jews.Rather, she said that only his cousin had actually done the stabbing – a fact which the court confirmed.She accused the court of convicting him of attempted murder instead of a lesser charge because of the current atmosphere in which any Palestinian teen who walks around with a knife could be shot or convicted of attempted murder.Tsemel argued that it was unfair that Hebron shooter Elor Azaryah was charged with a less serious crime and that other times Jews attacked Arabs with knives they were charged with less serious crimes.However, the court said that his involvement with his cousin who did the stabbing and his running after the victims with a knife were enough to convict him of attempted murder.The court also added that many side details he testified to were false and brought into question his whole narrative.Finally, the court said his testimony in court was questionable, since he mostly invoked his right to silence when interrogated by police.In contrast, Tsemel accused the police of an abusive interrogation of the minor.Another video recorded by an Israeli bystander shows the 13-year-old writhing in pain with his legs bent backwards, while bleeding from his head. The clip, which at the time was viewed nearly three million times, also shows an unidentified man cursing the child for attempting to kill the Jewish boy. Within minutes, the minor was rushed to Hadassah University Medical Center in Jerusalem’s Ein Kerem, where he recovered.However, during a speech on Palestinian television, PA President Mahmoud Abbas claimed the minor was “executed in cold blood” by “Jewish settlers.”“We will not give up to the logic of brute force, policies of occupation and aggression… by the Israeli government and the herd of settlers who are engaged in terrorism against our people… the execution of our children in cold blood, as they did with the child... and other children from Jerusalem,” he said.Abbas’ remarks prompted the Israeli government to release video and still photographs of the minor lying in his hospital bed, refuting the Palestinian leader’s claims. When it became apparent that the boy was alive, the Palestine Liberation Organization issued a redacted version of Abbas’ speech, this time indicating that the minor was “shot” rather than “executed.”
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