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Beit Jala terrorist convicted of attempted murder

Updated: Mar 29

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Honenu Atty. Bleicher; Photo credit: Honenu

Sunday, June 20, 2021, 18:14 Judges at the Ofer Military Court in Yehuda convicted Sallama resident Ahmad Nafaz Muhammad of attempted murder and possessing a knife. In November 2018, Muhammad identified a Jewish customer leaving a supermarket in Beit Jala and repeatedly stabbed him in his head and face with a utility knife. The victim, bleeding heavily, succeeded in escaping from the terrorist, who fled the scene. The terrorist was handed over to the security forces by his family shortly after the attack and indicted in December 2018. In their decision, Presiding Judge Lieutenant Colonel Rani Amar, Judge Major Dr. Shai Farber, and Judge Major Avi Wasserman, referred to the intent of the defendant at the time of the attack: “The main evidence that indicates the intent of the defendant is his statement that on his way to Beit Jala he found a utility knife on the floor. He reached Beit Jala near the supermarket and saw a man coming towards a car with yellow license plates and opening it, and [in the defendant’s words] ‘I understood that the car owner was a Jew’.” The verdict continues: “The defendant approached the car owner, extended the utility knife blade, but did not open it. He grabbed the Jew by his throat and stabbed him with the blade in his face three times. Later he (the terrorist) said that if the man had been an Arab he would not have attacked him, and that he attacked him because he was Jewish and ‘The Jews conquered my land. At that second I wanted to stab him and to kill him.’” Later the terrorist changed his testimony. However the judges rejected it because “the testimony of the defendant before us does not evoke trust. It is suppressed testimony for which suitable reasons for suppressing it were not given, and it should be rejected. “His (the terrorist’s) statements indicate that the motivation for the act was nationalistic. Under interrogation, the defendant clearly admitted the existence of an intent to kill. The prosecution proved beyond a reasonable doubt that there was a psychological basis for the intent of the defendant to kill, and he should be convicted for attempted intentional homicide (the equivalent of attempted murder), and also for the crime of possessing a knife.” Honenu Attorney Chayim Bleicher, who is assisting the victim: “We are pleased that the verdict is based on logic. Murderous terrorists are constantly attempting to cruelly destroy us with whatever means come their way, and the benchmark of intent to murder is not only the size or type of the knife, but rather the acts and the motivation of the terrorist, whose intentions are obvious to anyone with sense. We will continue to assist the victim and we will demand that a severe penalty that will deter additional acts of terror be handed down to the terrorist.”

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