New footage shown on Israeli television on Sunday appeared to show that a car ramming in the northern city of Acre almost two months ago was deliberate, buttressing claims it was nationalistically motivated rather than a traffic accident.
The new footage aired by Hadashot news seemingly contradicted Malik Yousef Nahar Asadi’s claim that his car hit two Israeli soldiers, a border guard, and a civilian on March 4 by accident.
In the video captured by a camera in another vehicle, Asadi is seen driving up on the sidewalk and hitting a soldier. He then reverses and drives back on to the curb several times in an attempt to harm the soldier.
At one point in the video, the soldier appears to be holding his weapon and trying to cock it or insert the magazine, though he did not open fire.
According to his March indictment, Asadi then continued driving at high speed, hitting several more members of the security forces and a civilian.
In another video from the incident, Asadi can be seen avoiding civilians who were standing near his car, while he appears to target the two soldiers. In graphic security camera footage, the suspect could also be seen driving full speed into a serviceman as he crosses the street.
He was charged with five counts of attempted murder under Israel’s anti-terrorism law. The prosecution has asked the court to keep him in custody until the end of legal proceedings against him. All the victims were lightly wounded.
Asadi told investigators he hadn’t seen the soldier.
“If I would have seen him I would have stopped,” he told police. “I have nothing against the state or soldiers. I am a son of this state.”
“In the case of the first soldier, I drove onto the pavement because I was afraid he would shoot me,” he added.
In the hearing, Asadi’s attorneys argued that he was mentally ill. The court sent him for psychiatric evaluation.
“He has no insight, no ability to make judgments, or rather he makes faulty judgments,” attorney Tami Ulman told Hadashot.
“He doesn’t understand how this happened, or why he got into this situation,” another lawyer said.
According to the indictment filed at the Haifa District Court in March, Asadi arrived at a medical clinic with his wife at approximately 11 a.m. on March 4. He stayed in the car while his wife went in, and blocked a sidewalk with his car.
Some 25 minutes later, policemen who came by issued a parking ticket and put it on his windshield. An angry Asadi exited the car and said “may [God] take you and your state” and re-entered his car, the charge sheet continues.
Asadi then saw a soldier looking at him, and “decided to kill soldiers by ramming his car into them out of a nationalistic and ideological motive.”
Asadi’s ramming spree ended when an armed off-duty soldier who was at the scene shot him, moderately injuring him, near the Acre train station.
Judah Ari Gross and Michael Bachner contributed to this report.
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