Arab ‘non-terrorist’ who wanted to stab soldiers released home
The Nazareth Magistrate’s Court on Thursday released to house arrest an Arab woman who lives in the northern city and who tried to stab soldiers with a knife in Afula, against the opinion of the attorney’s office – and after she admitted she wanted to be a “martyr.”
The Arab woman, Asraa Zidan, was captured on film early last month as she stood with a knife at one of the platforms in Afula’s central station and shouted “terrorists,” before approaching security members menacingly. She was shot in the leg and moderately wounded.
But State Attorney Shai Nitzan last week opined that Zidan was not a terrorist but rather attempted suicide hoping to be shot dead, in an opinion based on the fact that she had an opportunity to stab a civilian at the station but did not, and that she has been hospitalized several times in the past for trying to commit suicide.
In investigation Zidan, a student at the Technion, claimed that after breaking up with her boyfriend she decided to commit suicide by staging the attack, reports Channel 10.
However, she also revealed that her intentions were indeed murderous and not merely suicidal, and that she arrived at the station with the intention to stab a police officer or soldier.
She said she had seen how “martyr” terrorists in Jerusalem were shot after committing attacks, and that she too wanted to be a “martyr.” The admissionraises questions as to why the state is not trying her as a terrorist over her intent to stage an attack.
On Thursday, the 29-year-old Zidan was sent home to full house arrest by Nazareth judge Aataf Ilboni.
An indictment was filed against Zidan last week for illegal possession of a knife and for making threats. The indictment accused her of “sowing fear and panic in the public, and creating a danger that due to her acts innocent passersby would be harmed.”
The indictment claimed that Zidan “pretended” to be a terrorist as she wielded her knife and threatened to stab security forces, despite her admission that her intent was not simply to threaten but to actually stab.
In the incident, after a tense standoff in which she refused to drop her weapon and menacingly approached the forces, the officers and soldiers sensed a real danger to their lives and opened fire.
The incident came a day after a stabbing attack in Afula in which a soldier was moderately wounded as he walked in the city.