“I am standing here alive and well,” an Israeli man declared in a Jerusalem courtroom, facing the Palestinian terrorist who tried to stab him to death a little over one year ago.
By Benjamin Kerstein, The Algemeiner
An Israeli man seriously wounded in a stabbing attack in Jerusalem in December 2017 confronted the terrorist who assaulted him on Wednesday, telling him in a courtroom, “You did not succeed in doing what you wanted, because I am standing here alive and well.”
Yassin Abu al-Qara’a stabbed security guard Asher Elmaliach at Jerusalem’s Central Bus Station. Police believe he committed the attack in reaction to US President Donald Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. Shortly before heading to the bus station, al-Qara’a composed a Facebook message reading, in part, “I sacrificed my blood for the motherland, everything for you, oh Palestine.”
Al-Qara’a concealed a kitchen knife in his coat and attempted to enter the station. Several guards, including Elmaliach, became suspicious and stopped him, at which point al-Qara’a stabbed Elmaliach in the chest and attempted to flee. He was subdued by the other guards and several passersby.
The Hebrew news site Walla reported that, speaking at a court hearing on al-Qara’a’s sentencing, Elmaliach described the extent of his residual trauma, which he called “drastic.”
“I’m afraid to walk down the street, afraid to go to crowded places.” he said. “I look to see who’s behind me.”
Elmaliach added, “I came to look Yassin in the eyes and say to him: Mr. Yassin, you didn’t succeed in doing what you wanted to do, because I am standing here alive and well.”
After the hearing, Elmaliach said, “I saw him and I wanted to kill him. It’s hard to see the man who wounded me in such a painful way stand there in court. I hope the court is wise enough to accept the prosecutor’s request.”
The prosecutor, Sagiv Ozeri, is seeking a 20-25 year sentence for attempted murder. In court, he said that al-Qara’a was driven by “religious, ideological, and nationalistic” motives, including “pride and ideology.” He also pointed out that Elmaliach was nearly killed and was still suffering from his injuries.
Al-Qara’a’s lawyer is pushing for a sentence of 15-18 years, and emphasized in court that the terrorist did not stab Elmaliach multiple times, but only once and then tried to escape.