A 17-year-old male from Ramle was indicted on Thursday after stabbing an 12-year-old boy, in an apparent hate crime, in the central Israeli city last week.
The youth had allegedly been motivated after watching television footage that showed two teenage Arab-Israeli girls committing a stabbing attack on a security guard in Ramle earlier this month.
The youth was also charged with stabbing two others a few days earlier, although these incidents were not seen as hate crimes. The youth was charged in Lod District Court with causing injury with grievous intent on several occasions, stabbing and possessing a knife.
According to the charge sheet, the defendant was filled with rage after watching footage documenting the stabbing attack in Ramle bus station. He took a knife and went out looking for Jews with the intent of stabbing them, the indictment said.
On February 8, the defendant was arrested on suspicion of stabbing an 12-year-old boy who was wearing a kippa and prayer shawl and on his way to a grocery store in Ramle. He allegedly asked the boy if he had a cigarette and lighter, and when the boy said he didn’t, the defendant took out his knife and stabbed him. The boy fell to the ground and tried to protect himself, but the defendant stabbed him twice more. He then fled toward a park, while the boy went home and was taken to hospital.
The defendant is charged with stabbing two other individuals that week, but these were not described as hate crimes. In one case, he stabbed a man in a Ramle park after the latter accused him of staring at him. In the other incident, the defendant waited for an Arab youth of 16 outside the school they both attended and stabbed him with a screwdriver. He also hit him with a thick tree branch. The defendant continued the attack until other students rushed to the victim’s aid and pulled the assailant away, according to the indictment.
Police officers told Haaretz at an early stage of the investigation that they didn’t believe the stabbings were hate crimes, since the defendant did not have the profile of a “classic terrorist.” The defendant was questioned by an investigator from social services, which could indicate he was suffering from psychiatric or cognitive problems.
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