Palestinian Charged With Attempted Murder of Israeli He Mistook for Settler

Nur Shinawi saw young woman who looked observant at an Afula bus stop and stabbed her nine times; she survived

Shinawi in Nazareth District Court, Thursday June 28, 2018: Defendent is wearing a khaki-colored button-up long sleeved shirt over a grey T-shirt. On either side of him are bored-looking policemen. He is talking to a legal personality who we see only from the rear. Shinawi has a mustache and beard.
Gil Eliahu

A Palestinian from the West Bank town of Jenin was charged Thursday with trying to murder Shova Malka, 18, whom he mistakenly thought was a settler, on June 11. The incident took place in Afula.

Nur Aladdin Shinawi, 20, was also charged with possession of a knife "under circumstances of terrorism" and multiple counts of staying in Israel without a permit. Shinawi told police he stabbed the woman because of her religious appearance, telling them he thought she was a settler.

According to the prosecution, friends of Shinawi were killed in December 2015 after stabbing soldiers at the entrance to Nablus, and separately, his mother was hassled at Temple Mount by Jews wearing yarmulkas. Shinawi subsequently developed a hatred of Jews, particularly observant ones. He planned to murder a religious Jew, as young as possible, then go home to Jenin.

In March Shinawi entered Israel with a one-day visitor's pass, together with a Palestinian tour group that visited Haifa and Tiberias. But in Tiberias, he left the group and went to the northern Israeli-Arab village of Iksal, where he illegally remained for months, until June, doing odd jobs.

It was during that illegal stay in Israel that he reached the decision to kill a Jew, for which purpose he obtained two knives, the prosecution says.

On June 11, Shinawi traveled to Afula. He got off at a bus station at which Malka and others were waiting. He noticed her and thought from her garb that she was a settler, he explained, and decided that posed an opportunity to carry out the attack he had envisaged. He waited for opportunity and when Malka was by herself, stabbed her nine times in the torso. Thinking she was dead (she survived), he fled the scene.

After the incident he hoped to escape back to Jenin but realized he was going in the wrong direction on Route 65 (a main road which passes through Afula). He stopped a passing taxi and asked to be taken to the Jalamah crossing point. However, a civilian who had heard about the attempted murder noticed him, thought he looked suspicious and called the police.

Still in Afula, the taxi got caught up in a traffic jam and Shinawi disembarked – only to discover that following the citizen's report, the taxi was already being followed by a police car. He tried to run  away and was chased by three police officers. One fired warning shots into the air and shouted at him to stop running.

During the chase, he took out his second knife, intending to storm the policemen, but at that point one of the policemen shot him in the legs.

Malka survived the attack but this Thursday morning was taken back to hospital, feeling unwell.  Meanwhile in court, the prosecution noted in its motion to extend his arrest that he had no prior record. His detention was extended for the duration of proceedings.