11-Year-Old Terrorist Placed in Child Domestic Abuse Shelter for Lack of Legal Precedent, Options
An 11-year-old boy who was shot after stabbing a security guard on the Jerusalem light rail has been placed in a closed shelter for children by the Israeli Welfare ٍand Social Services Ministry, Israeli news site Walla reported on Tuesday.
The reason he was placed in the shelter, occupied primarily by children removed from abusive households, is that Israel does not have a precedent for dealing with a terrorist who has yet to reach the age of criminal liability, or 12 years old.
The boy was admitted to the shelter after being released from the Hadassah Medical Center/Ein Kerem, where he was treated for moderate-to-serious gunshot wounds.
According to what Walla called reliable sources, the Welfare Ministry came up with the idea of the shelter, after the government determined it did not have a legal solution for placing the 11-year-old attacker in custody following his release from the hospital. After obtaining a court order, the ministry was able to place him in a closed institution.
Had he been over 12, he would have been treated by the legal authorities as a minor offender, but because he was 11, it fell on the Welfare Ministry, whose job it is to assist children in need of protection.
The boy, who set off with his 14-year-old cousin on November 10 to stab Israelis on the light rail in Jerusalem’s Pisgat Ze’ev neighborhood, had told questioners he wanted “to die a martyr,” according to a transcript of his testimony. Israel has been battling near-daily stabbing attacks, most of them committed by young adults and teenagers, for close to three months.
The 25-year-old security guard who was stabbed by the child and his teenage cousin managed to push the boy off and shoot him three times in the stomach, according to the testimony. Th 11-year-old later said he regretted committing the terrorist act.
The boy’s father told Walla the authorities have barred him from visiting his son at the closed facility, after having seen him only once before his transfer from the hospital to the shelter.