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Israeli-Arab Sentenced to 17 Years in Prison for Stabbing Soldier

(Michael Bachner/TPS) The Jerusalem District Court on Wednesday sentenced 30-year-old Jerusalemite Saeed Qumbuz to 17 years in prison for stabbing an IDF soldier last December. Qumbuz was also ordered to pay NIS 50,000 (about USD 13,000) to the victim.

“It is apparent that his actions, which were premeditated, were ideologically motivated. He decided to kill an Israeli soldier and become a ‘martyr,’” wrote the judges Yoram Noam, Rivka Friedman-Feldman and Moshe Bar-Am in their ruling. “We are dealing with a distorted and murderous ideology that has no value for human life and glorifies death.

“This ideology is disseminated in various mechanisms of wild incitement, and is fulfilled in practice both by ideological extremists and by other factions who can be easily swayed, such as children, teens and people going through hardships,” added the judges.

Qumbuz prayed at the Al-Aqsa Mosque on the morning of the attack, several weeks after he attempted to carry out a car-ramming attack. He then drove toward the central bus station with a knife and attacked the soldier from behind, stabbing him in the shoulder.

Qumbuz then struggled with the soldier and attempted to stab him again, but a security guard eventually knocked the knife out of the terrorist’s hand and subdued him until the police arrived.

According to the indictment, which was filed in January, Qumbuz decided to commit the attack and die as a “shahid” (martyr) after watching videos of terror attacks and even visiting the bloody scene of a prior attack near his home in the Old City. He allegedly researched where a stab wound would be most effective, and had aimed for the soldier’s neck. He also wrote the name “Saeed Shahid” in his diary to let people know he wished to die during an attack against Jews.

He also reportedly decided to commit a stabbing attack since he thought another car-ramming attack had more chance of going wrong.

Qumbuz was convicted in June of attempted murder and of possessing a knife, after admitting to the charges pressed against him.

In addition to the prison sentence and the fine, Qumbuz also received a suspended sentence of 18 months, to be served if he commits another murder attempt within three years of his release, and another suspended sentence of six months if he is found in possession of a knife during the same period.

The prison sentence will be counted from the day of Qumbuz’s arrest on December 27, 2015.

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