By Michael Bachner/TPS
Jerusalem (TPS) – Three Israeli-Arab residents of the Old City have been arrested by the Jerusalem Police and indicted in court for aiding a terrorist who committed a stabbing attack on May 2. According to the indictment, they housed the stabber in an apartment and attempted to help him escape without being caught.
The stabbing attack was committed by 18-year-old Muhannad Muhtaseb, a resident of Hebron who was staying in Jerusalem illegally. Muhtaseb stabbed and moderately wounded a 60-year-old ultra-Orthodox Jew who exited a yeshiva near the Muslim Quarter. A knife was found at the scene of the attack and Muhtaseb was located and arrested in an Old City apartment three hours later after a long and complicated search conducted by the police. He has also been indicted in court.
During the complex investigation, the evidence eventually pointed to the three Old City residents who aided the terrorist. According to the indictment filed against them, two of the defendants met Muhtaseb immediately after the attack and directed him towards Herod’s Gate to escape from the Old City.
When they saw the gate was blocked by policemen, they returned to the Muslim Quarter where one of the defendants told the terrorist that he would help him escape and let him into a residential complex to hide from the police and security cameras.
According to the indictment, the two other defendants arrived later at the complex, and one of them let Muhtaseb into his home. He let the terrorist wash off the stab victim’s blood, gave him clean clothes, and let him stay and hide.
When police forces arrived in the area, one of the suspects ran from the residential complex to the terrorist’s hiding place and warned him that they needed to flee. They transferred Muhtaseb to a nearby apartment, where he was eventually caught and arrested.
The indictment against the three men was filed on May 13 at the Jerusalem Magistrates Court, charging them of aiding a crime and disruption of court proceedings. The state prosecutor has requested that their remand be extended until the end of court proceedings against them.