Prosecutors to indict 14-year-old Palestinian girl for stabbing attack

Teen fled after knifing woman in Jerusalem’s Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood, then swapped her clothes at school, police say

A still image of surveillance footage showing a suspect in the stabbing of an Israeli woman in the Jerusalem neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah on December 8, 2021. (Israel Police)
A still image of surveillance footage showing a suspect in the stabbing of an Israeli woman in the Jerusalem neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah on December 8, 2021. (Israel Police)

Prosecutors plan to indict a 14-year-old Palestinian girl who stabbed a Jewish woman in Jerusalem last week, police said Thursday.

According to police, the girl planned the morning of the attack to carry out the stabbing, and followed her target — 26-year-old Moriah Cohen — for several minutes before stabbing her in the back in the flashpoint Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood, where they both live.

Cohen — who was with her children at the time of the attack — was treated at the hospital and released the same day.

The stabber fled the scene and hid out in her school, where she swapped clothes with a friend, police said in a statement, adding that some of the clothes were found in several locations around the school, including in the principal’s office. The friend is also expected to be indicted, police said.

The attacker’s remand has been extended for an additional five days until Monday, when she is expected to be indicted.

The teenager, who was arrested on the day of the attack, denied any connection to the stabbing, her lawyer, Mohammad Mahmoud, told The Times of Israel at the time.

Clothes warn by the suspected 14-year-old perpetrator of a stabbing attack in Jerusalem’s Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood, found in her school. (Israel Police)

Sheikh Jarrah, a neighborhood a 10-minute train ride away from Jerusalem’s city center, has emerged as a symbolic flashpoint in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Over the past few years, a handful of Jewish nationalists have moved into the mostly Palestinian neighborhood, mostly through complex eviction cases.

Tensions in the neighborhood have risen in recent months due to long-simmering court battles over dozens of homes in the neighborhood in which Palestinian families have lived for decades, but which Jewish groups claim legally belong to them.

Moriah Cohen, who was stabbed in Jerusalem on December 8, 2021, speaks after her release from the hospital. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

Many Palestinians and their supporters see that conflict as part of a larger effort by Israel to expunge their presence from the contested capital. The dispute — along with clashes at the Temple Mount — played a role in the Hamas terror group’s decision to fire a barrage of rockets at Jerusalem in May, sparking a brutal 11-day conflict between Israel and the Gaza Strip.

The past few weeks have seen a rise in Palestinian terror attacks, with four taking place in Jerusalem alone.

Also Thursday, a 48-year-old resident of Kafr Qasim was indicted in connection with the stabbing attack of a man in Jerusalem’s Old City earlier this month. The man, a taxi driver, drove the suspect from the Palestinian city of Qalqilya to Jerusalem, where the terrorist stabbed a young Haredi man before being shot dead, according to the indictment.

The indictment charges the taxi driver with negligence for bringing a West Bank resident to Jerusalem, and says that he “should have suspected that a West Bank resident could carry out an attack in Israeli territory.”

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