Light rail stabber convicted of attempted murder in plea bargain
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Light rail stabber convicted of attempted murder in plea bargain

Subhi Abu Khalifa, who wounded 2 on the Jerusalem Light Rail in October, also guilty of causing serious injury and carrying a knife

Stuart Winer is a breaking news editor at The Times of Israel.

Police at the scene of a stabbing attack in Jerusalem on October 8, 2015. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)
Police at the scene of a stabbing attack in Jerusalem on October 8, 2015. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

The Jerusalem District Court on Wednesday convicted an East Jerusalem resident of attempted murder as part of a plea bargain in his trial for a knife attack in Jerusalem eight months ago.

Subhi Abu Khalifa, 19, from the capital’s Shuafat neighborhood, injured two people at a light rail station in October 2015, at the height of a wave of stabbing attacks that only recently subsided.

One of the victims, a 25-year-old yeshiva student, was seriously injured and taken to a hospital with a knife still buried in his neck.

A second Israeli, apparently a light rail security guard, was very lightly hurt after wrestling with the attacker in an attempt to prevent him from fleeing the scene.

Abu Khalifa was convicted of attempted murder, causing serious injury, and carrying a knife. Defense and prosecution attorneys agreed to ask for an 18-year prison term during his sentencing which, at the request of the defense, was scheduled for September after the end of the month-long Ramadan festival.

The terror attack took place just after noon on October 8 at the light rail stop near the Israel Police’s national headquarters close to Ammunition Hill in northern Jerusalem.

After the stabbing, the attacker reportedly attempted but failed to steal a gun from a light rail security guard. After an altercation with the guard, the attacker fled the scene, but was pursued and caught by police motorcyclists.

Medics and police at the scene of a stabbing attack in Jerusalem, October 8, 2015 (Magen David Adom)
Medics and police at the scene of a stabbing attack in Jerusalem, October 8, 2015 (Magen David Adom)

There has been a recent dip in the number of near-daily stabbings, car-rammings, and shootings by Palestinians that claimed the lives of 29 Israelis and four foreign nationals since last October.

Some 200 Palestinians have also been killed over the same period, the majority of them while carrying out attacks against Israeli civilians or soldiers, and the rest during clashes with troops, according to the Israeli army.

Times of Israel staff contributed to this report.

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