Two East Jerusalem Teens Get 18 Years in Prison for Stabbing Attack

Judges say lengthy prison term intended to send message that even young offenders will face harsh punishment

A woman arrives at the hospital after being wounded in Jerusalem, May 10, 2016.
Emil Salman

The Jerusalem District Court sentenced two teenagers from the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Jabel Mukaber to 18 years in prison for stabbing two women in their seventies in May 2016.

The pair, 16 and 17 at the time of the attack, targeted the women, who were walking on the Armon Hanatziv promenade, and attacked them with a knife and the handle of an ax. They were convicted of attempted murder, possession of a knife, among other offenses.

“The two went out to kill Jews for political reasons,” the ruling stated. “The incident was planned in advance. The accused were armed with a weapon for committing an attack.”

The judges said in their decision that they issued a severe sentence, despite the convicted being minors at the time of the crime, because of the gravity of their crime. 

The sentence stood as a “condemnation of the acts, for the protection of public safety and as a (tool) of effective deterrence – both at the personal level and at large.”

The judges were Rivka Friedman-Feldman, Moshe Bar-Am and Yoram Noam.

A friend of the teenagers, also a minor, was convicted of conspiracy to commit a crime. He planned to join the attack but pulled out at the last moment, was sentenced to 25 months in prison. They had reportedly plotted their attack on Facebook. 

Daniel Mor, the Jerusalem district attorney said that the two youths were also each fined 165,000 shekels ($47,000). “The accused confessed that they intended to perpetrate a murderous, political attack at the Armon Hanatziv promenade,” he said. “After committing the act, the three planned to carry out another attack.

“The district attorney believes that because so many youths have been among the accused in the (recent) wave of terror, there is no way to avoid imposing lengthy sentences against anyone who takes part in a terror attack against innocent people, even if they are minors,” he said.