Palestinian Gets 21 Years in Prison for Ra'anana Stabbing Attack That Wounded Four

Verdict says assailant, steady worker and father of two, was 'inclined to please others and was easily influenced by media incitement'

First responders treat the wounded victims of the stabbing attack in Ra'anana, Israel, October 2015.
David Bachar

A Palestinian who wounded four people in a stabbing attack in Ra’anana in 2015 was sentenced on Thursday to 21 years in prison.

Khaled Bisti, 30, of East Jerusalem, was convicted by the Central District Court in Lod for attempting to murder one person and causing grievous bodily harm with intent to kill to three others. The court also ordered Bisti to pay his victims a total of 145,000 shekels in compensate.

The assailant first attacked Samuel Ono, who was standing at a bus stop on Ra’anana’s Jerusalem street, stabbing him in the head, shoulder and neck, the indictment said. At one point Bisti’s serrated knife broke and the blade remained stuck in the back of Ono’s neck.

Bisti went on to stab other people at the station with the broken knife, wounding three others until passersby pinned him down.

The judges wrote that “the defendant didn’t attempt the murder due to the loss of senses or a burst of anger. He planned his moves he made the decision to kill Jews with a knife.”

Bisti, married and the father of two, was raised in extreme poverty, the charge sheet said. At the time of attack he was working in Ra’anana and had three previous convictions for property related offenses, for which he had served 13 months in prison.

“The defendant couldn’t explain the reasons for his conduct at the time of attack and claimed that all his years he had worked with Jews and harbored no grudge against Israel,” the verdict says. “He says that before the incident he heard in the media that soldiers and Israelis were killing Arab children, beating Arab girls and entering the Al-Aqsa Mosque.”

The verdict said Bisti was “inclined to please others and was easily influenced by media incitement, without exercising judgment about the repercussions of his acts.” It also said “there is a high risk of repeated wild, violent behavior” on the defendant’s part.