Although they have not yet changed their minds, Jerusalem prosecutors were furnished with solid evidence that an Arab who attacked two Jews on the night of Shavuot had murder on his mind.
Prosecutors on Tuesday displayed posts that the terrorist had put on his Facebook page in praise of “martyrs” who were killed after committing acts of terrorism against Israel.
The terrorist also had a clear violent criminal past, according to attorneys for the Honenu legal rights organization which is representing the Jewish teens who were attacked by the terrorist near the Damascus Gate in Jerusalem on the night of May 23.
Activists and attorneys for Honenu were up in arms over the indictment of the terrorist Sunday – on charges of aggravated assault, and not attempted murder.
An Israeli youth and a companion were on their way to a yeshiva to study Torah when the terrorist attacked the two by surprise, stabbing them with a knife he had been carrying – clearly making the attack premeditated, Honenu said. The 30-centimeter long knife was of a type that had been used in other stabbing attacks.
Despite this, the prosecutor's office decided not to indict the stabber for attempted murder, but rather for aggravated assault. This, despite the fact that the victim was stabbed in the back, and only remained alive because the stabber happened to miss vital organs.
With the lesser charge, the terrorist, if convicted, with serve a lesser sentence – perhaps a year or so in prison, as opposed to a lengthier or even life sentence if he was indicted for attempted murder.
Honenu has been appealing to prosecutors to “come to their senses” and reconsider the charges. In a letter to prosecutors, Honenu attorney Moshe Yado said that “we believe that the circumstances outlined in the indictment clearly call for a charge of murder. In the case of my client, a minor who was stabbed in the back by a large knife, the wound was just a centimeter away from his spine and lungs."
"It is clear that the accused intended to commit murder. This was not a regular crime, but a nationalistic terror attack that is designed to strike fear into the hearts of all Israelis,” the letter continued.
The prosecution has not officially responded to the new evidence, but sources said that “it is going to be hard to ignore.”
Meanwhile, another positive sign for justice was the remanding of the terrorist to prison until all proceedings against him are completed – a step always taken for murder suspects, but sometimes suspended for individuals with lesser charges against them.