The two terrorists who committed the 2022 Elad ax attack received four life sentences and an additional 20 years in prison for the murder spree that claimed the lives of four people and injured three others, the State Attorney's Office said on Tuesday.
Assad al-Rafai, 20, and Tzabahi Abu Shakir, 21, pleaded guilty to the crimes and were convicted, their sentences part of agreements between their legal representatives and the State Attorney's Office.
The indictment against the Palestinian terrorists had been amended following the 2023 passing of one of the injured victims.
The Elad ax terror attack
The ax murder spree was conducted on Independence Day, with much of the carnage unfolding in a playground. Many of the victims had children witness their murder.
Al-Rafai and Abu Shakir, both residents of Rummama, worked in Elad illegally. After the death of a friend in clashes with the IDF, Abu Shakir decided to commit a terrorist attack and die a martyr. Al-Rafai resisted the idea, but agreed in light of the death of another friend and perceived threats that the Al-Aqsa Mosque was under attack.
The terrorists initially wished to commit an attack with firearms but failed in their attempt to purchase a Carlo submachine pistol. Abu Shakir was initially reluctant to use melee weapons, as he wanted to kill as many Jews as possible, but al-Rafai convinced him the task could be completed sufficiently. They purchased two axes and knives.
On May 5, 2022, two men cut through the security fence and were given a ride by Oren Ben Yiftach. When he had driven them to their destination, they stabbed him twenty-one times and dumped him onto the side of the road. Ben Yiftach was a father of six.
The terrorists left the vehicle and chased two people who fled. The attackers went to a playground, where families were celebrating Independence Day. They encountered and repeatedly hacked Boaz Gol, killing him. Gol had five children. They then proceeded to murder Yonatan Habakkuk in front of his six-year-old son.
One man was attacked as he sat on a park bench with his four children, aged 2-8. They severely injured him and left him for dead. The man attempted to collect his children and rush them to safety but collapsed.
75-year-old Shimon Matuf was attacked when he went to see why children were fleeing. Matuf died from his injuries in February.
The terrorists fled the scene and managed to evade security forces for almost four days until they were found hiding in a nearby forest.