Jordanian citizen indicted in Israel for plot to kill IDF soldier

Mohammad Maslah, 21, entered the West Bank in June and sneaked into Israel from the Tulkarem area on July 22, tried to assault cop during arrest

Jordanian-Palestinian Mohammad Maslah, 21, during his indictment at the Haifa District Court, on August 19, 2019. (YouTube screenshot)
Jordanian-Palestinian Mohammad Maslah, 21, during his indictment at the Haifa District Court, on August 19, 2019. (YouTube screenshot)

Israeli prosecutors on Monday charged a 21-year-old Jordanian man who attempted to knife a police officer and confessed to planning to stab an IDF soldier last month.

The indictment filed at the Haifa District Court charged Mohammad Maslah with planning to carry out a deadly terror attack, aggravated assault and other charges.

The indictment called him a Jordanian citizen, according to Hebrew media reports.

According to a police statement released after the indictment was filed, two officers patrolling late on July 22 in the northern city of Hadera noticed the suspect sitting alone at a bus stop on Hanasi Street. They approached him and began to question him.

The young man turned out to be a Palestinian with Jordanian citizenship residing in the West Bank village of Deir al-Ghusun, near Tulkarem, who had entered Israel without an entry permit.

In later questioning, Maslah said he had arrived in the West Bank from Jordan in June, and was living with his sister for a month before sneaking into Israel.

Police officers at the scene where a suspected terrorist, 21-year-old Jordanian citizen Mohammad Maslah, was caught by police in the northern city of Hadera, on July 22, 2019. (YouTube screen capture)

One of the officers informed Maslah he was under arrest, but as he attempted to cuff him, Maslah allegedly resisted, then pulled out a knife with a 17-centimeter (7-inch) blade. According to police, Maslah then attempted to stab one of the cops and fled the scene.

The officers gave chase, called in reinforcements, and eventually caught up to Maslah and ordered him at gunpoint to drop his knife.

According to police, Maslah then shouted “Allahu akbar,” or “God is greater,” and lunged at an officer. The officer fired a single shot into the man’s left leg, causing him to collapse to the ground. Maslah was lightly to moderately injured by the gunfire, and taken to the city’s Hillel Yaffe Medical Center.

No police were hurt during the incident.

According to police, Maslah said during questioning that he got the knife from his sister’s home, entered Israel through a gap he found in the security fence around Tulkarem, and jumped on a bus to Hadera.

Once there, he said he spent the day looking for a soldier to stab. That remained his plan later that night as he sat at the bus stop where the officers first encountered him.

The charge sheet also includes illegal entry into Israel, illegal weapon possession, and obstructing a police officer.

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