Two Israeli men — one Arab and one Jewish — who police say are suspects in separate “nationalistically motivated” attacks are facing charges of attempted murder at the Haifa Magistrate’s Court on Wednesday.
Alaa Raed Ahmad Ziwad, who seriously wounded an IDF soldier and moderately injured three others in an attack earlier this month, is being charged with four counts of attempted murder, police said in a statement Wednesday.
Ziwad admitted to ramming his car into a female soldier on Route 65 near the entrance to Kibbutz Gan Shmuel, northeast of Hadera, and then stepping out of the car and stabbing three others at the scene.
Ziwad admitted to investigators his attack was “nationalistically motivated,” a police term indicating a terror attack. His confession marks a retraction from his initial claim that the attack was an accidental car collision, and the stabbings an act of self defense after he was attacked by onlookers.
In his testimony, Ziwad, a resident of the nearby Israeli Arab town of Umm al-Fahm, told investigators he wished to kill himself by killing Jews.
The October 11 attack left a 19-year-old female soldier in critical condition. The remaining victims — a 20-year-old male soldier, a 15-year-old girl and a 45-year-old man — sustained light to moderate injuries.
Coastal District Police lead investigator Yoni Zinti said that bringing Ziwad before a judge to face charges for his terror attack was “an important accomplishment for establishing deterrence.” Ziwad, 20, is one of the few attackers among dozens in recent weeks who are citizens of Israel.
An Israeli Jewish man who police say stabbed another Israeli Jew he mistook for an Arab in an attempted revenge attack, was also facing charges for attempted murder on Wednesday at the Haifa Magistrate’s Court.
Police said that Shlomo Pinto admitted to the attempted hate crime after he stabbed Uriel Razkan in an Ikea parking lot in the Haifa suburb of Kiryat Ata on October 13 because he mistook him for an Arab.
“I heard a shout, ‘You deserve it, you deserve it, Arab bastards!’ When I turn around I see a Haredi man. I shouted to him, ‘I’m a Jew,’ but he tried to continue. I just ran away; otherwise I would have been killed,” Razkan told Army Radio of he attack.
Pinto was subdued by passersby and Razkan was hospitalized with light to moderate injuries.
The court extended the remand of both Ziwad and Pinto.