Attempted Temple Mount stabber convicted

A Nablus man was convicted for attempting to conduct a terrorist stabbing on the Temple Mount in 2020, the Jerusalem District Attorney said on Thursday. 

Mehdi Kalbuna, 30, had decided to kill an ultra-orthodox Jew on the Temple Mount. When a firearm was too expensive to purchase, he bought a knife, and brought the weapon to the holy site. He was searched as he approached the area, and arrested.

Kalbuna had told his brother that he was going to commit the attack, and had initially confessed to police. The defense argued that the terrorist had a mental disability, but testing indicated that he was poorly educated and had personality issues. The court also rejected the defense that Kalbuna's actions were preparatory and did not amount to an attempt.

The court said that the attack was already in an advanced stage based on his words and the presence of the knife. In addition to murder, he was convicted of possession of the knife, and illegal entry into Israel.