Four lightly wounded in Tel Aviv terror attack
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Four lightly wounded in Tel Aviv terror attack

18-year-old Palestinian from West Bank detained by police after using wire-cutters to stab people in lobby of beachfront hotel

Judah Ari Gross is The Times of Israel's military correspondent.

Magen David Adom paramedics arrive at the scene of a suspected terror attack outside of a Tel Aviv hotel on April 23, 2017. (courtesy)
Magen David Adom paramedics arrive at the scene of a suspected terror attack outside of a Tel Aviv hotel on April 23, 2017. (courtesy)

Four people were wounded in an apparent terror attack at a hotel on the Tel Aviv beachfront by a Palestinian teen armed with wire-cutters, police said Sunday.

The attack began in the lobby of the Leonardo Beach Hotel, where he stabbed three people. He then fled outside and attacked one more person, a man in his 70s, before he was captured by police.

According to Channel 2 news, the assailant first attempted to enter the smaller Leonardo Art Hotel on Hayarkon Street, but was turned away by a security guard. He then traveled down the street to the Leonardo Beach Hotel, where he carried out his attack.

All four victims were lightly wounded and treated at the scene by medics before being taken to Ichilov Hospital, according to the Magen David Adom ambulance service.

The Palestinian, identified as an 18-year-old from the Nablus area of the West Bank, was apprehended by police. After initially saying the motivation of the attack was unclear, police later determined that it appeared to be a terror attack.

In addition to the man in his 70s, two men and a woman in their 50s were identified as the victims of the attack by medics.

Surveillance footage from the hotel shows the stabbing attack as it unfolded.

The Palestinian teenager, wearing jeans and a black T-shirt, first stabbed a man and a woman inside an office in the Leonardo Hotel.

He then ran out of the office and into the lobby where a man tried to block his escape, grabbing a pillow from one of the lobby’s couches to protect himself.

The terrorist attacked the man, tackling him to the floor and stabbing him repeatedly in the shoulders, neck and head.

The Palestinian teen could then be seen standing up and chasing the fourth victim — the man in his 70s — out of the hotel and into the street.

The Magen David Adom ambulance service said that some of the victims’ wounds were penetrative, while in some cases the wire-cutters did not break the skin, instead causing severe bruises.

The victim in his 70s did not have any bleeding wounds, MDA said.

He told medics he was attacked by the Palestinian teenager and pushed to the ground.

It was not immediately clear how the Palestinian teenager entered Israel. Police said they were investigating if he had a work permit or if he was in Tel Aviv illegally.

Though a marked drop has been recorded by security officials in recent months, 41 Israelis, two Americans, a Briton, a Palestinian and an Eritrean national have been killed in the spate of stabbing, car-ramming and shooting attacks that began a year and a half ago.

Israeli officials have said that many of the attackers have done so due to personal problems, with some, like Friday’s attacker, hoping to commit suicide by cop or soldier.

According to AFP figures, some 250 Palestinians, a Jordanian and a Sudanese migrant have also been killed, most of them in the course of carrying out attacks, Israel says, and many of the others in clashes with troops in the West Bank and at the Gaza border, as well as in Israeli airstrikes in the Gaza Strip in response to rocket attacks.

The spate of Palestinian attacks that began in October 2015 was dubbed the “lone wolf” intifada, as many of the attacks were carried out by individuals who were not connected to any terror group.

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