An IDF soldier, about 20 years of age, was critically wounded after being stabbed multiple times in a terror attack at Tel Aviv’s Hahagana train station on Monday afternoon.
Police confirmed the attack was a politically motivated terrorist attack.
A 50-year-old man who confronted the terrorist was lightly injured in the scuffle, and received medical treatment at the scene, Channel 2 reported.
The attacker was in police custody. Initial reports identified the suspect as an 18-year-old Palestinian man from Nablus who had illegally entered Israeli territory. Channel 2 named the stabber as Nur al-Din Abu Hashiyeh.
Police were interrogating the man and had forwarded his identity to the Shin Bet security agency.
— Israel Defense Forces (@IDF) November 10, 2014
An eyewitness to the attack said the victim was wearing an air force uniform.
Senior Israel Police official Shahar Hamdi asked the public to be alert and report any Palestinians residing illegally in Israel to the authorities.
The terrorist tried unsuccessfully to grab the soldier’s gun after stabbing him repeatedly in the leg, Israel Radio reported.
Eyewitnesses identified the attacker as wearing a red shirt and jeans, and said he fled west in the direction of the Tel Aviv central bus station. Police arrested the man, who hid on the fourth floor of a building near the scene of the crime, Israel Radio reported.
One man stabbed in central tel aviv area. Police searched area. Suspect arrested at the scene. Police investigating background
— Micky Rosenfeld (@MickyRosenfeld) November 10, 2014
Zaki Heller, the spokesman for Magen David Adom, said the victim was unconscious and was found by paramedics without a pulse, and received first aid at the scene.
The victim was later transferred to Sheba Hospital at Tel Hashomer, and was undergoing surgery.
Public Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovitch arrived at the scene of the incident shortly afterwards.
Hamas welcomed but did not take responsibility for the stabbing attack, Channel 10 reported. The terror group encouraged Palestinians to continue targeting Israelis.
A picture of the suspect holding a Hamas flag surfaced on social media.
The stabbing came amid increased unrest in Jerusalem since the kidnapping and killing of three Israeli teenagers in June, followed by the revenge killing of a 16-year-old East Jerusalem Arab resident. The clashes intensified in past weeks, amid Palestinians’ fears of changes to the status quo at the Temple Mount — a site holy to both Judaism and Islam — and the attempted assassination of activist Rabbi Yehudah Glick on October 29. Israel has said it has no intention of changing the status quo at the mount, where Jews are forbiddden from praying.
Four Israelis were killed in two separate car-ramming terror attacks in the capital in past weeks.
On November 5, an Arab driver plowed his vehicle into a crowd of people at a light rail station along the seam-line between East and West Jerusalem late Wednesday morning, killing a Border Police officer. A 17-year-old yeshiva student later succumbed to his wounds, bringing the death toll to two.
Two weeks earlier, a resident of Silwan in East Jerusalem drove his car into a group of pedestrians waiting at a light rail station in Ammunition Hill, killing two people, including a three-month-old girl, and injuring several others.
As the violent confrontations between police and Arab Israelis spread across the country in past days, police killed 22-year-old Kheir Hamdan of Kafr Kanna on Friday night, sparking further riots for what residents said was his “cold-blooded” murder. Hamdan had approached a police car armed with a knife, according to footage of the incident, before running away. A policeman, who later said he was aiming to wound, not kill, shot him from behind. Israel launched an investigation into the incident.