Arab arrested for assisting Yaffo terrorist
Mohammad Ouida, a 30-year-old resident of East Jerusalem suspected of having assisted the terrorist Bashar Masalha, has been arrested today. Masalha, a 22 year old from Qalqilya, carried out the terrorist attack on the Yaffo promenade two months ago, killing the American tourist Taylor Force.
The Jerusalem District police arrested Ouida on suspicion of manslaughter, conspiracy to commit a crime, and transporting illegal residents after having aided Masalha travel to Tel Aviv from Jerusalem. The Jerusalem Magistrates’ Court extended his detention on Sunday to eight days.
Ouida’s name initially cropped up during the investigation of the terrorist attack, but the police waited until they attained stronger evidence of his actions recently to arrest him. Ouida has a criminal past which includes a suspended prison sentence for transporting illegal Arabs.
In her ruling extending the detention, Judge Joya Skappa-Shapiro noted that the evidence that she had received in recent days substantially strengthened the case against Ouida. She added that there is cause to suspect that he transported illegal residents, but the evidence regarding manslaughter is not very strong. “This is in light of the nature of the evidence regarding the suspect’s (knowledge) of the intentions of his passenger, who ultimately carried out the attack.”
Rami Ottoman, Ouida’s lawyer, claimed that his client denies the allegations against him and the very fact that he had not been arrested before now speaks for itself: “If the suspect is as dangerous as the police allege, why didn’t they arrest him at the beginning of March?”
Ottoman was referencing the date of the Yaffo terrorist attack, which took place on March 7. In addition to murdering Force, Masalha wounded a further 11 passersby as he ran along the promenade, stabbing at random, until he was shot and eliminated by police.