Arab who stabbed officer 'not a terrorist'

Attorney's office buys lawyer's claims that Arab stabber 'wanted to commit suicide,' downplaying the nature of his murderous attack.

Ido Ben-Porat,

Site of the Nahariya stabbing
Site of the Nahariya stabbing
Basel Awidat/Flash 90

The Haifa district attorney's office on Wednesday morning submitted an indictment to the regional youth court against a 16-year-old Arab, accusing him of attempting to murder a Border Patrol officer at Nahariya's central station late last month.

The attacker, a resident of the Israeli Arab village of Abu Snan located to the southeast of the northern coastal city where the attack occurred, stabbed the officer repeatedly in the back and head - and yet the indictment did not accuse him of committing a terror attack.

No mention of "nationalist motives" were given in the indictment, as apparently the attacker's version of events was given credence by the attorney's office.

According to the assailant's lawyer, the Arab stabber suffers from "emotional distress" and stabbed the officer to try and get him to shoot him and thereby commit suicide. Why the Arab stabbed with the intent to murder the officer if he hoped to be shot by him was not explained by the lawyer.

The incident was caught on security cameras, which show how the attacker caught the officer by surprise from behind, stabbing repeatedly and then grappling with him as a civilian tried to help the victim. The stabber then broke free and started chasing after the wounded officer while continuing to stab.

Three weeks ago on Friday the Arab arrived in Nahariya with a knife in his coat pocket, reveals the indictment. At 6 p.m. the officer reached the central station wearing his uniform and carrying his weapon.

Half-an-hour later the Arab reached the station and spotted the waiting officer. He waited until his victim passed in front of him, and then drew the knife from his pocket and pounced on the officer from behind, stabbing him with the intent to kill and inflicting at least three wounds in the upper back and head.

After a struggle captured in the video above, the officer managed to strike the attacker in the head with his weapon, causing the Arab to flee while suffering a head wound before later being caught.

The officer suffered stab wounds right adjacent to his spinal cord, to his upper back and neck, as well as a cut to his head; he was moderately wounded in the attacks. At the time of the incident, the Arab falsely claimed he stabbed the officer in "self-defense" following an argument.

"Why ask to shoot him?"

The attorney's office requested to keep the Arab under arrest until the end of legal proceedings against him.

"As we claimed at the beginning the nationalist clause was negated," said the Arab's lawyer, Hana Bolus. "But we still stand by the version that the youth suffered from an emotional crisis, and that is what caused him to act this way."

"We still haven't learned the severity of the investigation," the attorney told Channel 2. "But it makes no sense that while the minor stabs the officer he asks him to shoot him. This indicates that the minor came to the site to die."

Not explained by the lawyer is the active indoctrination and incitement among the Palestinian Arab public, according to which dying as a "martyr" trying to murder Jews is a supreme goal and an Islamic religious obligation.

In that context, it would seem to make perfect sense that after unsuccessfully trying to murder his victim from behind, the Arab would ask to be shot and become a martyr while still continuing his attempts to end the officer's life.


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