When the 22-year-old terrorist, Shatila Abu Iyadh, was indicted in court today on charges of attempted murder, she claimed to be acting on orders from the other world.
Two weeks ago, the Kfar Qassem resident left her home and went to the nearby Afek industrial park, in between Rosh Ha’ayin and Kfar Qassem. Having armed herself with two knives, Abu Iyadh sought out victims to stab as she walked along HaMelacha Street. It was there that she singled out Reut Weitzman (30), a mother of three from nearby Kfar Saba. After the incident, Abu Iyadh was eventually detained.
Despite the severity of Weitzman's wounds, and Abu Iyadh's planning before the attack, Abu Iyadh’s mother claimed that the knives “were for making salad.” Explaining away the attempted murder in a Jerusalem court, the elder woman said of Abu Iyadh, “She’s dieting. She always carries fruit and a knife with her in her bag to make salads.” The young assailant's family even suggested that Abu Iyadh's had been insulted or even attacked, thus resulting in the incident.
However, Abu Iyadh’s motives appeared to have been made clear to her much earlier. Before the attack, Abu Iyadh claimed to have dreamed that the spirit of Muhammed -- the founder of Islam -- had appeared to her and thus prompted a much more religiously observant Muslim lifestyle. Her vision also inspired her to kill Jews. It was soon afterwards that she began planning a series of lone-wolf attacks against Jews.
In December 2015, the aspiring terrorist learned on the internet to construct a crude explosive device. Abu Iyadh then purchased materials for the bomb, including metal screws to serve as shrapnel. Her plan was to place the bomb in one of the restaurants in the Afek industrial park and timed to detonate around lunch time. Hedging her bets, Abu Iyadh conducted surveillance of several restaurants to determine their security precautions.
However, when Abu Iyadh failed in her quest to build a bomb, however, she sought to acquire an automatic weapon. When she was unable to get one, she decided that she would stab her victims instead.
At approximately 1:00 p.m. on April 3, Abu Iyadh found her target while walking down the street. Her attempt to kill Weitzman failed because Weitzman was able to resist. Weitzman, fortunately, escaped with but a non-fatal wound to her left arm.
Since October 2015, 29 Israelis and four foreign nationals have been killed in an ongoing wave of terrorism. Nearly 200 Palestinians have also been killed, some two-thirds of them while attacking Israelis. The remainder died in clashes with Israeli troops. However, Israeli officials have pointed to a sharp drop in the number of attacks in recent weeks.