Police have yet to define as a terrorist the 17-year-old Arab Israeli from Ramle who last Monday stabbed and moderately wounded an 11-year-old Jewish boy in the coastal town, but the victim's mother is far less confused regarding the stabber's motives.
"They have hatred for Jews," said the boy's mother on Sunday speaking to Yedioth Aharonoth, and noting on the large Arab population in the mixed city. The stabber hails from Jawarish, which lately has become something of a terror hotbed.
Two weeks ago on Thursday, just four days before the 17-year-old's attack, two 14-year-old Arab Israeli girls from Jawarish stabbed and lightly wounded a security guard at Ramle's mall near the central station. The indictment against the two terrorists revealed they conducted the attack to become "martyrs" in a "religious war," and one admitted to police they "came to kill Jews."
"We've been in Ramle for years, but never was there something like this where they come and stab us," said the mother of the 11-year-old.
Miraculously the boy was not murdered in the attack, as the stabber fled the scene after stabbing him three times. Police have arrested the attacker, but still refuse to define him as a terrorist, saying they have yet to rule out whether the attack was "criminal behavior." The reaction brings to mind accusations of cover ups in numerous previous terror attacks.
The victim's mother was far more certain, saying she thinks the Arab attacker was indeed a terrorist, and did not choose to stab a young Jewish boy just by chance.
The 11-year-old boy reenacted the attack, saying, "he looked suspicious. He asked me if I had a cigarette and I said no. He asked 'do you have a lighter?,' I said no. Suddenly he pulled out scissors and got me in the stomach. He was shocked by the blood, said some words in Arabic and fled. I didn't understand him. I came home covered in blood."
"Here's how to be a criminal, not a terrorist"
Attorney Alon Kriti who is representing the family of the victim said, "the state, the police and the Shabak (Israeli Security Agency) can continue to investigate the motive. But it's clear that any angle of investigation other than terrorist activity is simply dreaming."
"The state itself is authorizing stabbing attacks as a criminal incident. In order to do so, the terrorist has to be a Hebrew speaker and has to approach the victim by chance, to ask for something or just start an irrelevant conversation, take out a sharp instrument and stab."
"How can it be that an 11-year-old child goes to buy chocolate milk at the grocery store and gets stabbed three times by an Arab terrorist?," posed the lawyer. "And if he isn't a terrorist but rather is mentally ill, why didn't he stab any of the passersby in Jawarish? I'm certain that this is an act of hostility against a resident of the state of Israel simply for his being Jewish."
Ramle Mayor Yoel Lavi was pressed to defend the mixed nature of Ramle following the stabbing conducted by the two 14-year-old terrorists. He claimed the city was a model of coexistence and that the Arab residents are loyal, despite a long history of riots, harassment and attacks by Arabs in the city.
A poll last November found 57% of Israeli Arabs feel the radical Islamic Movement in Israel that is funded by Hamas represents them faithfully. Likewise 18.2% of Arab Muslim citizens of Israel said they do not consider Islamic State (ISIS) to be a radical terrorist organization, and that they are not ashamed of the brutal jihadist group.