The mother of Abd Al Hakim Adel A’asi, the terrorist stabber who murdered Rabbi Itamar Ben-Gal, Hy”d, Monday, urged her son to turn himself in Tuesday. As the levayah for Rabbi Ben-Gal was taking place in Har Bracha, reporters who gathered at her Haifa home for a statement were told that she herself was afraid of her son, and that he had “ruined everything” by committing the murder.
A’asi, 19, was “badly behaved and violent,” his mother said. She told reporters that he had not been living with her most of the time, as she had been divorced from his father, who lives in Shechem, many years ago. “I met A’asi several times over the years, and once he tried to attack my brother,” she said. “I want to continue my life as I have chosen it, far away from these issues. I am having a very hard time with this.” She added that she had been receiving assistance from the government, both material and social, because of “the difficult life I am living,” she said.
Her son’s behavior “is very strange, it is possible that he is mentally ill,” she said. “He has no right to hurt anyone else,” she added.
Records show that A’asi, who had been living in Jaffa in recent years, was a drifter who did not complete high school. He was known to social service agencies in Haifa and Tel Aviv, and had been homeless for a time. A’asi once lived for several weeks at a Tel Aviv shelter for homeless youth, but left after he was warned by administrators to stop visiting his father in Shechem, where he would go every few weeks.
In a statement, the Haifa Municipality said that social service officials were familiar with A’asi’s situation. “He was a homeless youth and addicted to drugs. Over the years there were attempts to help this youth, who was rejected by his parents. We provided him with several housing and rehabilitation options, but he chose to end his engagement with the programs each time he started one,” the Municipality said.