Palestinian teen who was part of attack on Israeli boy, 13, convicted

JERUSALEM (JTA) – A Palestinian teen who was 13 when he participated in a stabbing attack against a 13-year-old Israeli boy was convicted of attempted murder.

The attacker, Ahmed Mansara, now 14, and his cousin, 15, chased after the Israeli boy riding his bike in the eastern Jerusalem neighbourhood of Pisgat Zeev. The older boy stabbed and seriously wounded the victim, as well as an older Israeli man, in the October 2015 attack.

The cousin was shot and killed by police after allegedly coming at officers waving his knife. Ahmed was hit by a car and attacked by an angry crowd before being removed by police and hospitalized.

Shortly after his arrest, Ahmed reportedly said that he and his cousin had planned to kill a Jew in revenge for the treatment of Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza and the believed change in the status quo at the Temple Mount. Later in his interrogation Ahmed changed his story, saying they only wanted to scare Jews and pointing out that he did not actually stab the Israeli teen.

In the days following the attack, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas accused Israel of “executing” the assailant. In response the Israeli government released a video of the boy eating in his hospital bed. It also released a video from a surveillance camera showing the teen and his   cousin wielding knives as they chased after the Israeli boy on his bike.

The trial was postponed several times, according to the Palestinian Maan News Agency, which reports that Ahmed turned 14 in January, leading some to believe that it was on purpose since those convicted before they turn 14 cannot be imprisoned under Israeli law.

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