A Palestinian terrorist was indicted in a Jerusalem court on Thursday for stabbing a security guard outside the capital’s central bus station earlier this month.
He was charged with “a terrorist act of attempted murder” and entering Israel illegally.
According to the charge sheet, on the morning of December 10, 24-year-old Yasin Abu al-Qar’a “said goodbye to his loved ones on the phone,” purchased a knife and illegally traveled to Israel in order to carry out a terror attack in response to US President Donald Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as the Israel of capital.
After hearing the announcement, “the defendant planned to stab as many Jews as possible until he was killed and turned into a martyr,” the indictment read.
The Shin Bet security service blamed “the incitement on the internet following the recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital,” saying it contributing to al-Qar’a’s decision to carry out the attack.
The night beforehand, he posted on Facebook: “In your path, O homeland, O Jerusalem, O Al Aqsa, our blood is cheap.”
Al-Qar’a, from Wadi al-Fara, outside Nablus, bought the knife in another town in the northern West Bank, hiding it in his coat, and made his way to the city of Hadera, taking advantage of a permit that allowed him to enter the “seam zone” along the border of the West Bank, but not Israel proper.
Concerned about traveling on a public bus without a legitimate permit allowing him to be in Israel, al-Qar’a paid NIS 500 ($140) for a cab ride from Hadera to Jerusalem.
During the ride, he wrote a will on his phone, based on what he’d been taught in Palestinian Authority schools, according to the indictment.
“Brother, oh brother, you are commanded by father and mother, and woe to you, sister, if you worry about me. For the homeland I have sacrificed my blood, everything for you, Palestine,” al-Qar’a wrote.
“In his interrogation by the Shin Bet and the police, the suspect said that he wrote the will before carrying out the attack with the martyrs’ quote found in the textbooks of Palestinian Authority textbooks,” the Shin Bet said Thursday.
Once he reached Jerusalem, a little after 2 p.m., al-Qar’a approached the central bus station.
He was stopped at the door by a security guard, Asher Elmaliach, who asked him to go through a metal detector before entering. The detector went off repeatedly, as al-Qar’a had the knife hidden in his coat.
At that point, al-Qar’a determined that Elmaliach, 46, was Jewish and “decided to stab him to death,” according to the charge sheet.
Graphic video footage from the scene showed Abu al-Qar’a slowly handing his belongings to Elmaliach, before suddenly taking out a knife and plunging it into the guard’s chest.
The knife pierced the right ventricle of Elmaliach’s heart, and he suffered considerable internal bleeding. An off-duty medic who was standing nearby rushed to help him.
Al-Qar’a tried to run from the scene, but he was quickly tackled to the ground by bystanders and police officers who saw the attack.
The Shin Bet determined that Al-Qar’a acted entirely alone. He did not have a known history of involvement in terrorist activities. Two of his brothers were members of the PA security services, Hadashot news reported.
Elmaliach remains in intensive care in Jerusalem’s Shaare Zedek Medical Center, under sedation and breathing through a ventilator, as of Thursday. But doctors said his condition has slightly improved.
Last weekend, he was taken off an extracorporeal membrane oxygenation machine, known as an ECMO, which takes strain off the heart and lungs by performing some of their functions, namely removing carbon dioxide from the blood and resupplying it with oxygen, a spokesperson for the hospital said.