Tel Aviv (TPS) – Two Palestinian cousins who carried out a shooting attack at a Tel Aviv market last month that killed four Israeli civilians were indicted for the murders on Monday. They were charged along with an accomplice who helped them prepare for the attack and had originally planned to take part in the attack as well.
According to the indictment, the terrorists were inspired by the Islamic State terror organization, also known as ISIS, although they were not officially recruited and did not apparently receive direct guidance or assistance from it.
The two terrorists are Muhammad Muhamra and Khaled Muhamra, 21-year-old cousins from the village of Yatta in the Mount Hebron region. They opened fire on a crowd of shoppers and diners at the Sarona Market on June 8, killing Ido Ben-Ari, Ilana Nave, Dr. Michael Feige, and Mila Mishayev and wounding at least 15 others.
The terrorists were aided by their neighbor and friend, 22-year-old Yunis Ayash Musa Zayn, who has been arrested by the Shin Bet along with another accomplice. Zayn planned to commit the attack along with the two terrorists, but this was prevented since he has financial debts and therefore would not achieve the status of “shahid,” or martyr, according to Muslim belief.
They originally planned to carry out the attack on a train where their victims would have no escape route, the indictment continues, but this plan changed because of the security measures and metal detectors at the entrance to the train station. Sarona Market was thus chosen at random on the day of the attack.
The terrorists purchased suits and luxury items before the attack in order to blend in with the Tel Aviv crowd, the Shin Bet investigation revealed. Zayn supplied them with three rifles and they also carried two knives dipped in rat poison so that they could stab civilians should the rifles malfunction.
The terrorists crossed into Israeli-controlled territory through a breach in the fence used by illegal infiltrators in Mount Hebron. They were assisted by Salim Mognam, 23, resident of Yatta who has also been arrested as an accomplice.
Both gunmen attempted to flee in different directions after the attack. Khaled was shot by security forces and apprehended while Muhammad blended in with the fleeing civilians. He followed a family into a residential building and hid with others inside their apartment until security forces came and arrested him.
The three men were charged at the Tel Aviv District Court with murder, attempted murder, and conspiracy to commit a crime.