Three Israelis were stabbed in the central town of Ra’anana on Saturday afternoon. The suspected terrorist was arrested by police.
Magen David Adom paramedics treated a seriously injured 40-year-old man and a lightly injured woman on Anielewicz Street in the town north of Tel Aviv. Another woman was lightly injured a block away.
The attack took place in a residential neighborhood, with the terrorist first trying to enter a house, then attacking the man in the street, knifing him in the stomach, and then moving on to a synagogue in a public park, where he attacked a women, Ilana Abergil, who was at the synagogue preparing a meal for worshippers at the end of the sabbath.
He fled, lightly injured the third victim, and was finally caught.
Two of the injured were taken to Meir Medical Center in neighboring Kfar Saba. The man was said to be stable and not in danger after surgery late Saturday.
Police officers apprehended an Arab man suspected of involvement shortly afterwards during a search of the vicinity. Police were reportedly searching the area for a vehicle suspected of being involved in the attack.
The man was later identified as a 20-year-old Palestinian man from a village near the West Bank city of Jenin, who was illegally in Israel, the army said. He was believed to have an accomplice who drove him to Ra’anana and fled the scene.
Update: Attacker in earlier attack that injured 3 in Raanana was 20 year old Palestinian from Jenin. Assailant arrested by police.
— Israel Defense Forces (@IDF) December 19, 2015
The suspect told investigators that he carried out the attack as revenge for the death of a relative, according to Walla news.
Ra’anana Mayor Ze’ev Bielski told residents to remain in their homes — apparently referring to potential protesters. “After an incident like this there’s no need for [public] gatherings,” he told Army Radio.
A video posted online which claimed to be from the scene of the arrest appeared to show Israel Police officers holding down the handcuffed suspect.
A woman can be heard saying, “Mom, he entered the house.” A man in a black t-shirt with the word “Security” on the back, carrying a sidearm, can be seen kicking the suspect in the groin while held down.
סרטון מעצר המחבל מהפיגוע ברעננה.#פיגוע
Posted by Pub-leak on Saturday, December 19, 2015
Former Likud minister Gideon Sa’ar responded to the incident on Twitter, noting that the stabbings in Ra’anana were allegedly carried out by a Palestinian who illegally entered Israel. “After three months of intifada,” he said, referring to the uptick in violence, “when with the government of all talk seriously take care of illegal entries and effectively close the territories of the [Palestinian] Authority?”
In October, a Palestinian man stabbed four people with a knife on Jerusalem Boulevard in Ra’anana. One was in serious condition with stab wounds to the upper body. The three other victims were lightly injured. Earlier in the day in a separate incident, an East Jerusalem man stabbed and lightly injured an Israeli at a bus stop.