Palestinian sentenced to 35 years for stabbing 2 cops near Old City

Judges write that East Jerusalem man deserves 'severe and exceptional' punishment because his premeditated attack was 'severe and exceptional'

Ayman Kurd (c), is escorted by Israeli prison officers at the District court in Jerusalem on February 13, 2018. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

A Palestinian terrorist who stabbed and wounded two police officers in Jerusalem in 2016 was sentenced to a “severe and exceptional” punishment of 35 years in jail and fined NIS 330,000 ($92,00) by the Jerusalem District Court on Wednesday.

Ayman Kurd, 21, from East Jerusalem, stabbed the two officers near the Herod’s Gate entrance to Jerusalem’s Old City on September 19, 2016, seriously wounding a 38-year-old policewoman and moderately injuring her 47-year-old male colleague.

The policeman managed to shoot Kurd several times after he was stabbed, wounding him.

Kurd was charged with two counts of attempted murder and one count of carrying a proscribed weapon.

In their ruling the judges said that the sentence was severe and exceptional, but “was necessary, given the severe and exceptional circumstances of his acts and their serious outcomes,” Hadashot news reported.

They wrote, “The ideology of yearning to become a ‘martyr’ by murdering others — which turns death into the goal and the murderer into a saint and hero — is a murderous ideology.”

The judges added that the attack was clearly premeditated and therefore he deserved the maximum punishment.

“He planned the attack in advance and equipped himself with a knife to use as a murder weapon beforehand,” they wrote in their judgment, “and showed determination and cruelty in his intent to kill. The defendant followed the policemen, attacked them from behind and stabbed them… until the knife broke from the force of the attack.”

According to the indictment, prior to carrying out the attack Kurd wrote several wills on his phone.

“My mother, my heart, please don’t cry and don’t be angry, pray for me to die as a martyr. I want you and [your sister] to hold a party for me,” the indictment quoted him as saying in one of the wills. “Be assured that I didn’t do this because of anyone, but only because I wanted to.”

In another will, Kurd asked his mother and aunt to forgive him for the attacks, “and bury me in the martyrs’ cemetery near my brother Ramzi.”

According to the indictment, Kurd arrived at the Damascus Gate at 7:15 a.m. on the day in question and positioned himself on a bench there, listening to verses from the Quran and searching for a likely target. At that point, he also wrote a farewell message to his father via Facebook.

Dov Lieber contributed to this report.

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