An East Jerusalem resident has been arrested for aiding the Palestinian assailant behind a deadly stabbing attack in Jerusalem's Old City on the eve of the Jewish holiday of Sukkot, it was cleared for publication Sunday. Meanwhile, two Israeli Arabs were charged for leading two different terror attacks in Israel this past month.
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A joint investigation by the Shin Bet and the Jerusalem District Police indicated that Mohannad Hallabi did not act alone when he stabbed and killed two Israelis in Jerusalem's Old City in an October 3 attack. According to the investigation, he was aided by Abed Al-Aziz Marayi, who assisted him in crossing the security fence from the West Bank and enter the city. An indictment is expected to be filed in the coming days and alleges he also spurred the attacker on.
According to the investigation, Hallabi and Marayi had planned to pray at the Al Aqsa Mosque but ran into police checkpoints on the way, and thus opted to pray outside the Old City instead. Afterwards, Hallabi allegedly voiced a desire to "slap a [Israeli] police officer," but Marayi allegedly encouraged him to attempt a larger attack and he even allegedly took him to a store in the Old City, buying him the knife.
While Marayi went home, Hallabi preceded with the attack, killing Nehemia Lavi, 41, of Jerusalem and Aharon Bennett, 21, of Beitar Illit. The attack also wounded Bennett's wife and toddler son. Hallabi was shot dead at the scene and there is a demolition order on his family' home.
Two charged for terror attacks
Meanwhile, two Palestinians were charged with attempted murder for their role in two different terror attacks.
Ala Raed Zyud, a 22-year-old resident of Umm al-Fahm, was charged for an October 11 attack in which four people were stabbed near Gan Shmu'el in northern Israel. Zyud was charged with four counts of attempted murder and one count of possession of knife with racist intent. He will be held in custody until further notice. The indictment claims recent violence and alleged Israeli infringements on the Temple Mount prompted the Israeli Arab to perpetrate the attack, he was also motivated by the death of an Israeli Arab women shot after waving a knife in an Afula bus station.
According to the indictment, he first ran over two soldiers standing near the junction and then exited the car, first stabbing a minor and then the female soldier he had run over, all the while searching for her military rifle. A passerby attempted to help the minor, but was then also attacked, until additional passersby subdued Zyud.
An indictment was also filed against Haled Besti, a 28-year-old Israeli Arab from Jerusalem who was behind a stabbing attack in the central town of Ra'anana on October 14. He was charged with four counts of attempted murder.
According to the indictment, Besti wanted to become a martyr when he travled to Ra'anan with a knife hidden in his shirt. He approached the bus station and stabbed an Israel man three time, but his knife broke, remaining lodged in his victim. Unaware the knife had broken, he then attempted to stab three more Israelis.