The Jerusalem District Attorney on Thursday indicted a 14-year-old terrorist from Beit Hanina for attempted murder and possession of a knife in a stabbing attack perpetrated last week on Jerusalem’s light rail, along with his cousin, an 11-year-old. The indictment, filed at the Jerusalem District Court, accuses both teens of the attack, but only charges the older one, because Israeli law does not assign criminal liability to perpetrators under the age of 12.
The indictment alleges that the two decided to carry out a stabbing attack in revenge for the death of a relative who was shot dead while carrying out an attack himself.
According to the indictment, on the day of the attack the accused, armed with a kitchen knife, met his younger cousin outside their school. As the accused put it in his confession: “He (the 11-year-old) was late for school, and arrived at 8:30 instead of 8:00. He said: ‘I don’t want to go study, don’t want to go to class. My parents and the teachers will cause a mess.’ So I took him to Jerusalem near Musrara. We bought Burekas or Pringles, drank chocolate milk…”
At some point they decided to carry out an attack instead of attending school. They went to the Damascus Gate in the Old City, where they wanted to buy another knife, but they didn’t have a lot of money and were afraid that because of their age the vendors won’t sell them a knife, so they bought a sharp pair of scissors instead.
Then they tried to find soldiers they could stab, but that didn’t work out, so they took the light rail and waited for their opportunity. At one point a security guard walked into the car and stood beside them. According to the indictment, when the train came into the predominantly Arab neighborhood of Shuafat, in north-eastern Jerusalem, the two teens began to stab the guard, because they thought he wanted to hurt them and interrupt their plan to kill other passengers.
The guard fought them until he was able to draw his weapon and called on them to throw the knife and scissors. But the 11-year-old continued to try and stab him again, and so the security guard shot him twice in the stomach.
The Jerusalem District Attorney asked the court to extend the detention of the 14-year-old until the conclusion of the legal proceedings against him. His cousin remains hospitalized in Hadassah Ein Kerem Medical Center.