Court Extends Detention of Jewish Teen Who Attacked Arabs

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A Jewish man stabbed 3 Palestinians, 1 Bedouin in Dimona Friday morning Credit: Police Spokesperson

The Be’er Sheva District Court extended the detention Thursday of a Jewish teen suspected of the attempted murder of four Arabs in Dimona who were working for the Dimona municipality.

The suspect’s attorney, Itamar Ben-Gvir, told the court that his client had been sent for testing last week and it is now clear to experts that the teen suffers various severe problems and that experts have recommended he be held for psychiatric observation.

Members of the central unit of the Negev district police, which is handling the investigation, said the suspect, 17, from Dimona, went on a stabbing spree last Friday morning throughout the city. He first stabbed a Bedouin landscaping worker on Gedolai Yisrael Street, moderately wounding him. He then fled the scene to look for other Arabs, and three other Arab laborers near the Lehman High School and stabbed them, wounding one moderately and the other two slightly. The police overpowered the assailant at the school and took him for initial interrogation.

When questioned, the suspect, whose name cannot be released because he is a minor, said he had stabbed the men because “all Arabs are terrorists.” The police later said that he had psychiatric problems and was known as a heavy user of the synthetic cannabinoid known as “Mr. Nice Guy.” Ben-Gvir told the court that just the previous week his client’s family and friends had tried to have him hospitalized in a mental health facility, however they were turned down. Haaretz was unable to confirm this claim.

From what is known of the suspect, he appears to be a school dropout with social problems going as far back as elementary school, which led to his being sent from Dimona to Eilat. He apparently began seventh grade but did not continue, lived at a horse ranch for at-risk youth in Eilat and worked at odd jobs and giving pony rides to tourists on the promenade. The suspect’s father, who was a retired policeman, died a few years ago, and his older brother is in prison. Friends he made during this time say they knew he was mentally unstable.

In a conversation among the suspect’s friends that reached Haaretz, one person who said he is the suspect’s best friend said he “cared about his country and took a step that we don’t have the courage to take.” Another friend said that “he didn’t have anything to lose in life, his childhood was destroyed because of his foolishness, he was screwed.”

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