By Michael Bachner/TPS

Haifa (TPS) – An Israeli-Arab terrorist has been sentenced to 25 years in prison for carrying out a combined car-ramming and stabbing attack at the Gan Shmuel Junction near Hadera in October, 2015.

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Alaa Ziwad, 20, from the town of Umm Al-Fahm, committed the terror attack after arriving in his car at the junction where he saw two IDF soldiers – a man and a woman – standing at a bus stop. He accelerated, ran them over, and then exited the vehicle with a knife and stabbed the female soldier and a 17-year-old girl. He also stabbed a man who stopped his vehicle to help the other victims before being neutralized and apprehended.

The 19-year-old female soldier was very seriously wounded in the attack after sustaining stab wounds to her face and upper body. The other victims were lightly to moderately wounded in the attack.

According to the indictment, Ziwad decided to commit the attack after similar attacks were perpetrated in October that killed and wounded many Israeli civilians “against the backdrop of battles and debates relating to the Temple Mount and the Al-Aqsa mosque.”

“The offenses are extremely severe, both on their own and in the specific context,” wrote the judges in the verdict. “The defendant, an Israeli citizen, decided to carry out a terror attack to kill Jews only because they are Jews. The charges require severe punishment in order to convey an unequivocal message that everyone participating in such offenses will find themselves behind bars for a long time.”

Ziwad was convicted at the Haifa District Court of four attempted murders after he admitted to the offenses. In addition to serving 25 years in prison, Ziwad will also pay compensation to each of his four victims, amounting in total to NIS 340,000 (almost 90,000 USD).

Zowad may also lose his Israeli citizenship.

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