Remand extended for suspect in J'lem light rail stabbing

Remand extended for Mohammed Shuman, suspected of stabbing, seriously injuring Yehudit Aharon on J'lem light rail.

Light rail attack suspect in court 370 (photo credit: Melanie Lidman)
Light rail attack suspect in court 370
(photo credit: Melanie Lidman)
The Jerusalem Magistrate’s Court on Monday extended the remand of the man suspected of stabbing a soldier on the light rail in the capital on March 15 for an additional four days.
The suspect, 18-year-old Muhammad Shuman from the Beit Hanina neighborhood, seriously injured Yehudit Aharon when he stabbed her multiple times on the light rail in the Pisgat Ze’ev neighborhood. It was the first violent incident on the light rail, which began carrying passengers in August.
Aharon was released from Shaare Zedek Medical Center last Thursday after recovering from her wounds. The stab wounds missed her heart by a few centimeters, which doctors said was “a miracle.”
According to the police investigation, Shuman went to school on the morning of the incident armed with a knife. Upon arrival, he decided not to enter the school grounds and got on the light rail in the direction of his house around 10 a.m. He sat across from the soldier, who was in uniform on the way to her base. A few seconds before the light rail pulled into the Yekutiel Adam station in Pisgat Ze’ev, Shuman stood up and stabbed her a number of times.
When the doors opened, Shuman fled the scene for his home. When he got to his house, he told his brother about the stabbing, and then took a bus in the direction of Ramallah with the intention of staying with relatives in the West Bank.
While Shuman was on the bus he threw the knife out the window, police said. Police caught Shuman at the Kalandiya checkpoint before he crossed into the West Bank.
During the first investigation, Shuman said that he stabbed the soldier as revenge for Israel’s actions against the Palestinians. Police believe that he was acting independently and is not part of a terror organization.
Shuman’s lawyer, Muhammad Mahmud, denied that the incident was a revenge attack and said Shuman had been brought for a psychiatric evaluation. He added that emotional or mental problems are a more likely motive than terrorism. Mahmud added that Shuman has no history of criminal activity and had never been investigated by the police for involvement in rock throwing or other nationally motivated activities.