Palestinian Sentenced to 22 Years in Prison for Jerusalem Stabbing Attack

Security guard who was critically wounded in 2017 told West Bank resident in court ‘I am still here, alive and well’

Scene of stabbing at Jerusalem's central bus station, December 12, 2017.
Judy Maltz

An Israeli court sentenced on Monday a 26-year-old West Bank resident to 22 years in prison for a stabbing attack at the Jerusalem central bus station in December 2017, in which a security guard was critically wounded.

Yasin Abu Alkra’a was also ordered by the Jerusalem District Court to pay the victim, Asher Elmaliach, 200,000 shekels ($55,528).

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Abu Alkra’a’s sentence "reflects recognition that anyone choosing to take part in terrorism and hurting innocent people on nationalist ground should be severely punished," said Sagiv Ozeri of the Jerusalem District Prosecution.

"We stand behind the guard whose life had been miraculously saved after the defendant stabbed him hard in the chest, while he was preventing the defendant from entering the central bus station, thereby thwarting the defendant’s deadly purpose, to kill as many Jews as possible."

46-year-old Elmaliach’s life had been in real danger following the attack, but an emergency surgery at Shaare Zedek Medical Center in Jerusalem saved him. Ahead of the attack, Abu Alkra’a posted on Facebook: "For Allah and for the honor of Al-Aqsa we will shed our blood.”

Abu Alkra’a had been convicted of attempted murder after Elmaliach was stabbed in the chest and suffered critical injuries. He still suffers from physical limitations and post-traumatic stress disorder, the court wrote in the sentence. He resumed working in late 2018, but not as a security guard.

Elmaliach made a statement at the sentencing hearing, saying he had “chosen to come to court to look the defendant in the eyes.” Elmaliach asked the court to deal harshly with Abu Alkra’a, who he said had never had expressed remorse. “What you wanted to achieve, you didn’t,” he told the defendant. "I am still here, alive and well."