A 23-year-old Palestinian resident of the West Bank city of Jenin was indicted on Wednesday on several charges including attempted murder in connection with the August 15 stabbing of a man at a construction site in the central Israeli city of Rosh Ha’ayin.
The defendant, Walid Mansour, stabbed his victim roughly 20 times, critically wounding him, according to the indictment. Mansour apparently entered Israel illegally through a breach in the security fence and made a way to a new Rosh Ha’ayin neighborhood currently under construction to look for work. He had a pocket knife with him.
According to the allegations, he met his alleged victim, a man who had bought a property in the neighborhood, and told him he had keys to all of the apartments in the building. When they got to the door of the victim’s new apartment, he pulled out the knife, cried “Allahu akhbar,” or God is great in Arabic, and stabbed the man, the indictment states. The two began to scuffle and ultimately Mansour left the man on the floor with stab wounds all over his body, according to the charges.
Mansour is then said to have taken the man’s cellphone and car keys. He failed to start the car because he didn’t know the alarm code, according to the indictment, but was filmed by a camera on the car dashboard. The footage was an important piece of police evidence that led to his arrest and the decision to consider the attack was politically motivated.
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Mansour is said to have left the man’s cellphone in the car over concern that his location could be traced with the phone. He then returned to his home. On the way back to Jenin, he allegedly disposed of the car keys and the knife in an open area.
In addition to murder, he is charged with terror-related aggravated assault, robbery and obstruction of justice.
Under interrogation, he initially claimed that his actions were only motivated by financial reasons, but he later admitted to the other allegations and reenacted the crime. The police also have evidence that he asked three other individuals if they wanted to resist the security forces, to “follow in his path” and to die as a martyr. He allegedly told them that his stabbing victim died.
After he returned to Jenin, Mansour allegedly took several steps to evade capture, including sleeping away from home at night and holing himself up at home during the day. He also apparently shaved his head and beard, and asked his friends to call him Hamada, a false name.