The trial of Issa Ibrahim Islam, a truck driver who went on a killing rampage on Nakba Day, opened at the Tel Aviv District Court on Thursday.
The Kfar Kassem resident is accused of killing 29 year-old Aviv Morag and injuring 17 others while recklessly driving a truck along Bar-Lev Street in Tel Aviv last May. The driver also ran over several vehicles during the rampage.
A psychiatric evaluation submitted by the prosecution found Islam fit to stand trial, and determined that the defendant was lucid while he committed the act.
During the hearing, eyewitness recounted the horrors of that Sunday morning, as they were commuting to work and school: "He screamed 'Allahu Akbar' and then threw the traffic light on my head," recalled Shani Oz, one of the witnesses.
Scene of the rampage (Photo: Ofer Amram)
"The truck collided into my car and the back windshield shattered to pieces," said Amitai Asif, "People were scared. I had blood all over my face even after being taken into the ambulance," he noted.
According to the indictment, Islam carried on with his rampage even after colliding into several vehicles. "The defendant did not stop, but rather stepped on the gas and continued his killing spree," the indictment read.
The trial opened a week after David Morag, the father of the victim killed during the rampage, committed suicide.
"Aviv was his whole world," said a friend of the family, "The last few months were very difficult for him, and the holidays were even twice as hard."
Islam's defense attorney, Yehosua Resnik, rejected the accusations, claiming that "the incident was nothing more than an accident that went wrong."
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