Judge Miriam Lomp
Judge Miriam LompJudiciary spokesperson

Jerusalem District Court Judge Miriam Lomp today (Tuesday) sentenced a terrorist who attempted to stab two Jews by the Damascus Gate of the Old City of Jerusalem to eight years in prison.

The lenient verdict comes after the judge decided to take into account the terrorist's family background and the fact that the stabbing was 'his first offence', as she defined it, and that he claimed that the arrest was difficult for him. This is despite the fact that the terrorist did not express remorse for his actions and also changed his version of the attack.

The attack was committed about a year and a half ago when Ali Ajalin left his home with a sharp and long knife with the intent of harming Jews in the area of the Damascus Gate. An hour later, when he arrived at the scene, he noticed two Jews who had a haredi appearance making their way from the direction of the Damascus Gate. The terrorist started following the two and near the light rail he pulled out a knife and tried to stab one of them in the back. As a result, the knife fell from the terrorist's hands and he fled the scene.

According to the verdict, as a result of the attack, the victim suffers from trauma and the fear of death that he experienced at the time of the attack remains, even today, tangible and significant.

At the hearing Tuesday, the prosecution requested that the terrorist be severely punished, partly because the terrorist bears full responsibility for the attack as a sole perpetrator. He planned the act in advance, in order to become a martyr, he equipped himself with a knife, so that the act carried the potential of grave harm, and did so out of a nationalist-ideological motive. But miraculously the incident ended without serious bodily harm. In addition, in his actions, the defendant aimed to inflict fear and terror on the public, by committing an act of terrorism.

On the other hand, in the ruling, Judge Lomp stated that the request of the prosecution to give a sentence of 10-14 years in prison, in her opinion, exceeds the scope of the appropriate punishment under these circumstances. Later in the verdict, the judge stated that according to her, the sentence should be between seven and 10 years, yet in the verdict she set only eight years. The terrorist will also compensate the person who was stabbed with NIS 25,000 and his friend who went with him with NIS 2,000.

Attorney Haim Bleicher from the Honenu legal organization, which represents the victims of the crime, said in response: "This is a terrorist who tried to carry out a stabbing attack in the fullest sense of the term. The terrorist was not able to cause physical injury but caused the most damage to the victim whose life changed beyond recognition. The terrorist caused very serious damage to public safety. From the beginning, it was a mistake by the prosecutor's office that the terrorist was not charged with attempted murder, and we reported this to the prosecutor's office. But even according to the charges, in the end, this is a very light punishment, which seriously harms the war on terror and gives a reward to terrorists."