“Because of the terror incidents that swept the country in the first half of October, the defendant decided to carry out a revenge attack against someone of Arab origin, and to also inspire others to do similar attacks,” the indictment reads.
The indictment details how the defendant, 32-year-old Shlomo Pinto, stalked a local Kiryat Atta shopping center with a kitchen knife and a box-cutter looking for an Arab to kill. According to the indictment, on the morning of October 13th, Pinto left his home at 11a.m. carrying a kitchen knife, a box-cutter and a hammer, and made his way to Zvulon Street in the center of the city “in order to find an Arab and kill him.”
Prosecutors described in the indictment how Pinto – with one knife tucked in his sleeve and another in his jeans pocket – began following a man who he saw on the street and thought could be Arab. Pinto then followed the man as he walked to a local bank branch, and waited outside for the man to exit the bank. After the man failed to emerge from the bank, Pinto decided to try a nearby branch of the Supersal Deal supermarket chain “because he thought that they employ Arabs and there he could carry out his plan.”
Walking the aisles looking for an Arab victim, Pinto then saw an employee stocking shelves in the frozen food section who he was convinced was an Arab. Pinto then attacked Uriel Rizkin, stabbing him in the hip and lower back and shoulder areas, with the intent to kill, the indictment says. Rizkin began to run for his life down the aisle, as Pinto gave chase with the knife raised above his head. Rizkin at one point managed to grab a shopping cart and use it to block Pinto, who then gave up and fled the scene.
In the attack, Rizkin – a local Jewish man – suffered a pneumothorax in his left lung, contusions to both lungs, a broken rib, air bubbles in his back muscles, an injury to his sternum, internal bleeding in his pelvic area, and lacerations to his back and one of his kidneys.
Pinto’s attorney, Yossi Gimple, said his client, a father of three, “is a normative man from a normative family who was in emotional turmoil on that same day.”
Gimple said he still hadn’t managed to determine what caused Pinto to carry out the attack, but said “it’s probably because of the [security] situation and the events that took place in the days before. This includes on the day it happened, which was one of the worst days with terror attacks in Ra’anana and Jerusalem and people who got killed the same day.”
Gimple added that his client had no intention to kill and should be taken for psychiatric testing to check his emotional and mental state.
After the attack, Rizkin spoke to the press from his hospital bed, seemingly unable to make sense of the attack. He said that if Pinto had instead attacked one of his Arab co-workers, he would have come to the victim’s assistance.
“There’s no difference if he stabbed me or one of the Arabs I work with. If he would have stabbed one of the Arabs, I would have gone and hit him [Pinto]. It doesn’t matter who stabs who and why. People come to work, to work together; they don’t bring politics into it.”