Palestinian Terrorist Expresses Regret for Tel Aviv Stabbing Spree, Admits He ‘Came to Kill Jews’
The Palestinian terrorist who carried out a stabbing attack at the Panorama building in south Tel Aviv on November 19 told interrogators that he was sorry for what he had done, but his intention had, indeed, been to commit murder.
“I came to kill Jews,” 36-year-old Riad Mahmoud Al-Masalma told the Israel Police, according to the Israeli news site Walla on Wednesday. But Al-Masalma, a married father-of-five, also expressed some regret for the attack, in which he killed two Israeli civilians: “I am sorry for what I did; my life here is over.”
Interrogators were trying to figure out why Al-Masalma, whose family had welcomed twin daughters just three weeks earlier, decided to grab a knife from his workplace at a nearby restaurant and go on a killing spree.
“What we know is that the incident on that day was spontaneous on the part of the terrorist,” said Superintendent Assaf Baranes, head of the department for preliminary questioning. Al-Masalma had apparently taken the kitchen knife from the Bukhari restaurant where he was employed.
“He grabbed a knife, went up to the second floor from the lobby — we know this from witnesses and from his retelling of events — he went up to the second floor of the building and launched his killing spree,” said Baranes.
Al-Masalma stabbed three Israelis on the second floor of the office building in front of a store that served as a makeshift synagogue for nearby worshipers. Witnesses said the men inside held the door shut against Al-Masalma, who was shouting in Arabic outside. “Afterward, he went back down to the first floor and tried to kill another young man, but he was neutralized there,” said Baranes.
Al-Masalma was the first Palestinian in a decade who received permission to work in Israel — after being vetted by the Shin Bet security services — and carried out a terrorist attack in the Jewish state, Haaretz reported last month.