Perpetrators of Ra’anana terror attack indicted on murder and terrorism charges

Jeremy Sharon is The Times of Israel’s legal affairs and settlements reporter

The scene of a terror attack in Ra'anana, on January 15, 2024. (JACK GUEZ / AFP)
The scene of a terror attack in Ra'anana, on January 15, 2024. (JACK GUEZ / AFP)

Two Palestinian men are indicted on murder and terrorism charges for carrying out a deadly rampage through the city of Ra’anana last month, killing an elderly woman and injuring 17 others, including children and teenagers, several of whom are still hospitalized in serious condition.

Ahmed Zidat, 25, and Mahmoud Zidat, 44, two cousins from the West Bank town of Bani Naim, had plotted to commit two terror attacks prior to the attack they carried out in Ra’anana on January 15, the indictment notes.

In one of those planned attacks, the two had plotted for Ahmed to murder IDF Arabic-language spokesman Lt. Col. Avichay Adraee, having previously spotted him eating in a restaurant in Ra’anana. Ahmed rented an apartment in the city and found work washing cars there, and would go searching for Adraee every night close to that restaurant but never found him, the indictment states.

Ahmed and Mahmoud then decided to carry out an alternative attack in the city. On January 15, they both stole cars and began their terror rampage, the indictment says.

Ahmed rammed into one pedestrian at high speed, then exited his wrecked vehicle, hijacked another car and then rammed into two other pedestrians walking together. He again got out of the car and began stabbing one of his victims.

Mahmoud found a group of some 25 people standing at a bus station, and rammed into them, running over 18 of them. His vehicle was immobilized and he got out and fled. One of their victims, 79-year-old Edna Bluestein, was taken to hospital in critical condition and died of her wounds.

The two Palestinian men have been charged with murder, terrorism offenses, planning terror attacks, and several other crimes.

“The deep support of the respondents with the horrific, cruel and murderous acts of mass terrorism that were carried out on October 7, 2023, [and for] their perpetrators, and the terrorist organization that led them, and their decision to carry out a cruel and murderous terrorist attack themselves… shows an extreme, eager, and unbridled nationalist ideology of hostility towards Jews, meaning that the accused represent a clear danger,” says Roi Reiss of the State Attorney’s Central District Office in filing the indictment against the two men.

Most Popular