At the opening of the hearing, a police representative told Judge Abbas Assi that the three were seen walking around the market with Ahmad Muhammad Mahamid, 30, before his attack on a policeman, which was brought to a swift end by officers in Jerusalem's Old City.
Mahamid, a resident of Umm al-Fahm, was shot dead a short while after attacking the police officer at HaGai Street, near the Damascus Gate.
No one was hurt by the stabbing, except for a policewoman who suffered from anxiety. Footage of the attack showed the terrorist lunging at a police officer with a knife who was on his phone.
The defense attorney of one of the suspects noted that the judge had determined that there was no evidence against his client and that he must therefore be released on Sunday.
“There is no evidence connecting the three suspects to the incident … The police saw the family name Mahamid and immediately arrested them due to a possible chance that the family was connected,” the lawyer, Mustaffah Mahamid, told Ynet. “With the same information, they could have arrested me.”
Da’afini Mahamid, the brother of one of the suspects also complained to Ynet about the arrest.
“My brother is 50 years old and he just had a grandchild who he will only be able to see tomorrow. It’s an outrage. Everyone knows and reported in the media that the man who carried out the attempted stabbing was mentally ill,” said Da’afini.
“We have no contact with him, we don’t know him at all and we categorically condemn the act.”
On Saturday, another one of the terrorist’s brothers, Naseem, told Ynet “He suffers from a mental illness and he tried several times to commit suicide. We did not know he was in the Al-Aqsa Mosque on Friday, he never usually goes there.”
Nassem also added that his brother had tried to commit suicide on several occasions.
At the conclusion of the hearing, Judge Abbas said that the evidence against the suspects did not hold water.
“The suspicion is based on the fact that the three were seen on security cameras walking with the stabber. This can be seen as circumstantial evidence,” Judge Assi said.
“From the material in the evidence, there is no visual evidence beyond that. The terrorist travelled with the three suspects on a bus and left Umm al-Fahm to go to al-Aqsa mosque. Given the new investigative actions, I believe that an alternative to detention is sufficient.”
According to the police, the perpetrator left the Council Gate located at the entrance to the Temple Mount at about 5:30pm. He then noticed a group of policemen stationed a few meters away, and tried to stab one of them with a knife he was holding. After a fight between the police and the suspect, he was shot and killed by police officers at the scene.
The police responded to the incident by blocking the alleys surrounding the scene and opening an investigation into the identity of the perpetrator.