Palestinian Indicted for Murder of Rabbi in Central Israel

Khalil Dweikat, from a village near Nablus in the West Bank, took a knife from the building site kitchen and went off to kill a random Israeli Jew

Bar Peleg
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Israeli soldiers inspect the house of the Palestinian attacker, August 2020.
Israeli soldiers inspect the house of the Palestinian attacker, August 2020.Credit: IDF spokesperson
Bar Peleg

Palestinian construction worker Khalil Dweikat, 46, was indicted on Monday for murder under aggravated circumstances for fatally stabbing Rabbi Shay Ohayon two weeks ago in Petah Tikva.

The indictment submitted by prosecutors to the local court also charged Dweikat with possession of a knife for the purpose of perpetrating terrorism.

Dweikat, from a village near Nablus, has had a permit to work in Israel in the construction business and was employed at a site in Petah Tikva. He is accused of “deciding to use a knife to kill an Israeli soldier or Jewish citizen for the ‘sake of Palestine, the Palestinian people, the al-Aqsa Mosque and Allah.”

The slain Rabbi Shay Ohayon.Credit: Courtesy of the family

The charges say Dweikat took a knife from the construction site kitchen and put it in his pants, then headed out from the site in search of a victim. “After looking for a victim and an appropriate opportunity to carry out his attack plan for about an hour, the accused saw Rabbi Shay Ohayon walking near him down the street. The accused pulled out the knife from his pocket and stabbed the deceased three times, striking deeply.”

The charges say a passerby saw what was happening and threw an object at Dweikat to try and help the victim. “Only then did the accused leave the victim, in serious condition, and return the bloodied knife to his pocket, then try to walk away from the site, while considering the possibility of similarly stabbing some more Israeli Jews.”

Prosecutors requested that Dweikat remain in custody for the duration of his trial, citing his danger to the public “which is even more the case considering how throughout his interrogation, despite being asked explicitly, he did not express any empathy, remorse or regret about his victim or the victim’s family.”

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