'Motorcycle Terrorist' Sent to 15 Years in Prison for Ramming, Stabbing Attack

In October 2016, Murad Rajbi hit one man with his motorcycle — breaking his ankle, thumb and hand — and looked for people ‘with a religious Jewish appearance’ to stab

Israeli border police officers overlook the Arab neighborhood Issawiyah in Jerusalem on December 10, 2017.
Oded Balilty/AP

The Jerusalem District Court sentenced an East Jerusalem resident Tuesday to 15 years in prison for a vehicle ramming and attempted knife attack in Jerusalem in October last year.

Murad Rajbi ran down one man with his motorcycle and then tried to stab another. Based on a confession, Rajbi was convicted of attempted murder, causing an injury under aggravated circumstances, and possession of a knife. He was also ordered to pay a total of 30,000 shekels ($8,580) in compensation to the victims.

According to the verdict, on October 19, 2016, Rajbi took a kitchen knife and looked for people “with a religious Jewish appearance” to stab. He came to Hebron Road in Jerusalem on his motorcycle, but when he spotted a security roadblock, he turned around and came back later.

According to the verdict, near the Mount Zion Hotel, Rajbi tried to run over and kill two men — Ya’akov Lomega and Vadim Belitsky. He struck Lomega, breaking his ankle, thumb and hand. He then got off his motorcycle and, holding the knife, approached Belitsky, who managed to disarm his attacker. Rajbi then struck Belitsky in the face with his helmet.

In addition to the 15 years behind bars, Rajbi received an 18-month suspended sentence and was ordered to pay 25,000 shekels in compensation to Lomega and 5,000 shekels to Belitsky.