Rahat Mayor Talal al-Krenawi on Sunday paid a visit to the Jewish Israeli woman stabbed and wounded in an attack at the market in the Bedouin city on Saturday.
Shlomit Gonen sustained moderate injuries to her neck and was hospitalized with light injuries. The 65-year-old grandmother from nearby Kibbutz Mishmar Hanegev was shopping with family members in the town’s open market.
“Shlomit’s stabbing was a stabbing of every Rahat resident,” al-Krenawi said, according to the Walla news site. “Every educational institution in Rahat this morning spoke out against violence. Some of the schools also sent representatives to visit her.
“The terror attack damaged the fabric of our lives,” he added. “This was not a resident of Rahat, but an illegal [Palestinian]. I have the information from the CCTV cameras, and we can say with certainty that he was not a local resident. I believe that the police will track him down very soon.”
Eyewitnesses said Saturday that a youth about 20 years of age stabbed Gonen before fleeing the scene. Large numbers of security forces were searching for the assailant, and set up roadblocks in the area.
Channel 2 TV also said that the assailant was likely a Palestinian in Israel illegally.
An eyewitness to the attack, identified only as Salam, told Army Radio that “a youth in a red shirt and hat stabbed the woman and ran out of the market. The police arrived within 10 minutes and ambulances came even sooner.”
The stabbing came during an upsurge in Palestinian attacks on Israeli targets, some deadly and many involving knives. On Thursday, two 13-year-old Arab Israeli girls stabbed and lightly wounded a security guard in their hometown of Ramle.