JERUSALEM, Nov. 8 (UPI) — A 14-year-old Palestinian teenager was sentenced to 12 years in prison for his role in the stabbing of two random Israelis in 2015 with his cousin, who was shot by police at the time.
Ahmad Manasra, who was 13 when he and his cousin chased a man the cousin had just stabbed twice before stabbing a 12-year-old boy leaving a candy story minutes later, was convicted on two counts of attempted murder and will serve more than a decade for the attack, despite not actually stabbing anybody.
While Palestinian officials and the boys’ lawyers say the charges were trumped up and Manasra should not serve time since he did not stab anybody, while also suggesting any Palestinian boy holding a knife could be arrested for murder or shot down by police.
“Although we are talking about minors, the punishment is typically a prison sentence,” wrote Jerusalem District Court judges in their verdict. “The punishment needs to express society’s dislike for such actions aimed at killing a person due to his racial background especially in light of the ongoing terror wave that has been plaguing the State of Israel. A lighter punishment would most likely send a wrong message to the public.”
Manasra, who was 13 at the time, and his 15-year-old cousin were inspired by Hamas to kill Jews and potentially martyr themselves while doing so, carrying 15-centimeter and 20-centimenter knives while searching for victims.
First, the 15-year-old stabbed an older Orthodox Jewish man twice and then was seen on CCTV, which was shown during the trial, chasing the man.
Later in the tape, the two teens are seen spotting a 12-year-old Jewish boy leaving a candy store on his bike. The 15-year-old is then seen stabbing the boy in the neck, seriously wounding him.
The teens fled the scene, and the 15-year-old was later shot by police and died from his wounds; however, Manasra was subdued and hospitalized for wounds obtained while being arrested, and then put on trial.
Manasra’s lawyers argued he should receive a less lengthy sentence because he is a minor and did not do any of the actual stabbing, but the judges did not agree.