In a court in Illinois on Monday, the landlord who is suspected of murdering a Palestinian American boy, age 6, near Chicago more than two weeks ago entered a not guilty plea to charges of murder and a hate crime related to the incident.

According to the Will County Sheriff’s Office, Wadea Al-Fayoume, the family’s landlord, was responsible for the 26 stab wounds that were inflicted on him on October 14 at their house in Plainfield Township, Illinois. According to the officials, his mother, Hanaan Shahin, who is 32 years old, was also stabbed more than a dozen times but managed to survive the attack.

The landlord, Joseph M. Czuba, 71, did not make a statement to police; nonetheless, investigators established that the victims were “targeted by the suspect due to them being Muslim and the ongoing Middle Eastern conflict involving Hamas and the Israelis,” the sheriff’s office said. Czuba was the only person who lived in the apartment at the time of the attack.

According to the sheriff’s office, Czuba was charged with first-degree murder, attempted first-degree murder, two counts of a hate crime, and aggravated violence with a deadly weapon. He was also charged with two charges of a hate crime.

Czuba appeared in court wearing a jumpsuit similar to those worn at the county jail. He entered a plea of not guilty to all of the counts against him.

The brief hearing was held on Monday morning, and Wadea’s father, Oday Al-Fayoume, was there.

Palestinian-American Wadea Al-Fayoume, age 6A young child from the United States was stabbed to death near Chicago just eight days after celebrating his sixth birthday.
According to court documents, Shahin informed police that moments before the attack, Czuba told her that he was angry at her because of what was going on in Israel. This information was provided by the mother.

According to what the witness informed the police, in answer, Shahin stated, “Let’s pray for peace.” After that, Czuba assaulted her with a knife, and according to the records, she informed police that while she was hiding in a toilet and calling 911, he stabbed her son to death. Czuba then killed her son.

Czuba only spent a few moments speaking during his prior court appearance, during which he informed the judge that he planned to have the public lawyer who had been assigned to him represent him in the case.

According to Ahmed Rehab, the executive director of the Chicago office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, Wadea’s parents are originally from a town in the West Bank. The mother of Wadea has been living in the United States for the past ten years. Wadea was born in the United States, nine years after his father had relocated to the country.

The attack is a component of the international ripple effect that was caused by the attacks that Hamas carried out against Israel, as well as the subsequent bombardment and siege that Israel carried out against the Gaza Strip. According to campaigners and community leaders, the conflict has exacerbated tensions in the United States and stoked a wave of occurrences motivated by hatred towards Palestinians, Muslims, and Jews. These groups have been the targets of these acts.

The stabbing attack that ultimately resulted in Wadea’s death has been strongly criticised by a variety of officials, including President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden.

“The child’s Palestinian Muslim family came to America seeking what we all seek — a refuge to live, learn, and pray in peace,” Vice President Joe Biden said in a statement. This heinous act of hatred has no place in the United States of America.