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Issa Islam
Photo: Ido Erez
Crime scene
Photo: Eliad Levy
Reproduction photo: Muhammad Shinawi
Aviv Morag
Reproduction photo: Muhammad Shinawi
Islam's mother
Photo: Dudu Azoulay
TA rampage driver charged with murder
Indictment filed against Issa Islam from Kfar Kassem for murder, seven counts of attempted murder
An indictment has been filed against Issa Islam, the truck driver who went on a killing rampage in Tel Aviv on "Nakba Day" which left one person dead and 17 injured.

 

Islam is being charged with murder, seven counts of attempted murder, endangering human lives in a transportation lane, inflicting aggravated injury and aggravated assault with intent to harm.

 

The indictment provides an elaborate account of the murderous rampage which took place on May 15.

 

Shortly after reaching the Mesubim Junction at 9 am, Islam intentionally hit a vehicle flying an Israeli flag and carried on driving. The driver of the car then began chasing him. Islam later used the truck to push the vehicle into the side of the road in order to kill the driver.


'Indiscriminate killing rampage' (Photo: Yaron Brener)

 

Islam's killing rampage spread across two kilometers along the Bar Lev road and claimed the life of Aviv Morag, 29, from Givatayim. Seventeen others were injured.

 

At a certain point he noticed a reserve soldier riding a motor scooter and tried to murder him. According to the indictment, Islam accelerated and then hit the scooter. The rider suffered serious injuries and his scooter was crushed.    

 

Islam continued racing along the road crossing a red light and deliberately hit the car of Aviv Morag.

 

The rampage eventually stopped when Islam hit a school wall. He stepped off the truck and began attacking the passersby while shouting "Allahu Akbar" and "Jews are sons of b***s." Shani Oz, one of the passersby, stated that Islam took the remains of a broken traffic light and hit her in the head with it.

 

During his interrigation, the defendant claimed he had lost control of the truck after one of its tires exploded.

 

The Tel Aviv Prosecutor's Office motioned to extend Islam's remand until the conclusion of legal proceedings against him. "The defendant embarked on an indiscriminate killing rampage with intent to harm Jews while driving a 15 ton truck at high velocity," the motion stated.

 

The prosecution noted there is ample evidence suggesting the defendant had intended to harm Jews.

 

Morag's father David welcomed the indictment but noted it was "a small comfort as there is no comfort for such a loss."

 

'The witnesses are lying'

Meanwhile, Islam's family continues to deny that he went on a deliberate killing rampage. "My son is innocent. His whole life he worked in Tel Aviv. They can say whatever they want – we don't care. Allahu Akbar is not a swear word," Islam's mother said.

 

"The security elements exploited the fact it was Nakba Day to turn this into a deliberate attack. We are certain he had no intent. We shall not rest until he is declared innocent. Had the driver been Jewish, they would have treated him differently," another family member said.

 

Islam's attorney Mufid Badir added: "The indictment was already filed by the media and the prime minister and the State of Israel followed suit. The witnesses are lying. Issa himself was attacked, they tried to murder him." Badir motioned for a psychiatric evaluation which is expected by June 19.

 

Aviel Magnezi and Hassan Shaalan contributed to this report

 

 


First published: 09.06.11, 12:49
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