Arab Truckdriver to be Charged w/ Murder, and Possibly Terrorism

The Arab truckdriver who ran down 18 - 1 dead -on Naqba Day will be charged with murder. No decision yet if he will be considered a terrorist.
By Hillel Fendel
First Publish: 6/6/2011, 1:20 PM / Last Update: 6/6/2011, 1:42 PM

Flash 90/Yossi Zeliger

The Arab truckdriver who ran down 18 people and killed one on Naqba Day will be charged with murder. No decision has been taken yet on whether he will be considered a terrorist.

The Magistrates Court in Petach Tikva received yesterday a State Prosecution declaration charging the 23-year-old resident of Kafr Kasm, Isa Islam, with one count of murder and several counts of attempted murder. Kafr Kasm is an Israeli-Arab city near Rosh HaAyin, adjacent to the Green Line armistice lines set in 1949.

This past May 15 - which Arabs in Israel and the PA mark as the Day of Catastrophe for the State of Israel's establishment on that date - Islam went on an apparent rampage in which he crashed his truck into a bus and several cars over the course of about a mile in southern Tel Aviv, ending at the gates of an elementary school.

No clear proof was offered that the attack was planned, but at least one eyewitness said he made eye contact with the driver and saw clearly that it was pre-meditated. A journalist covering the event said cynically, “I never saw a mile-long accident before…” Some witnesses claimed to have heard him yell "Allah Akhbar", meaning Allah is great, a Jihad cry.

Killed in the attack was Aviv Morag, 29, of Givatayim, who was to have been married next month.

Despite all, it has not yet been determined whether Islam will be charged with committing a terrorist attack. He has denied attempting to commit an attack, including during the reenactment of the incident, claiming that he lost control of his vehicle because of a flat tire.

Islam will be indicted in the Tel Aviv District Court on Thursday.