TV reality star joined hunt for Tel Aviv stabber
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TV reality star joined hunt for Tel Aviv stabber

Liron Orfali, who was filming near attack on soldier, chased after assailant, who was eventually cornered in a stairwell

Israeli reality TV star Liron Orfali. (YouTube/reshettv)
Israeli reality TV star Liron Orfali. (YouTube/reshettv)

A television reality star helped a crowd of passersby catch a Palestinian teenager minutes after he stabbed an IDF soldier Monday in Tel Aviv.

Liron Orfali, who won the latest season of “Survivor” in Israel, was filming for a television show when the knifing, which lightly injured the soldier, took place nearby.

“As we were getting out of the car I heard screaming and shouting,” he told reporters. “Someone shouted, ‘Terrorist, terrorist!’ So I ran to catch the son of a bitch,” Ofali, known by the nickname Tiltil, told Ynet.

The attack took place on Yigal Allon Street, near the Hashalom Interchange.

“He went into a building and we closed in on him,” Ofali recalled. “We shouted to the neighbors to close their doors and windows as though there was a disaster happening. He raised his hands and then the police arrived.”

Police, who arrested the stabber, said he likely had nationalistic motives and they were therefore treating the incident as terrorism.

The attacker was identified as a 17-year-old resident of the West Bank who did not have a permit to be in Israel.

Medical personnel at the scene administered first aid to the 19-year-old soldier for injuries to his upper body before taking him to Tel Aviv’s Ichilov Hospital.

His father, speaking from the hospital, said he was close by when the attack took place, and his son ran to him for help.

“He shouted, ‘Father, Father, a terrorist stabbed me. Call me an ambulance,'” the father told Ynet.

“It is really traumatic. It was lucky I got to him in time. He was covered in blood, he told me he was coming home from the army. He serves in a transport corps base, and comes home from the train every day. When he came to Nahlat Yitzhak, the corner of Yigal Alon, he heard a cry behind him, and then he felt two stabs in his head. He turned around, saw the terrorist, shoved him away, and started running toward home. The terrorist entered the stairwell and threw away the screwdriver. A group of people grabbed him and restrained him in the stairwell.”

The attack came amid an extended ebb in recent weeks the number of such incidents after months of near-daily stabbings, car-rammings, and shootings by Palestinians that claimed the lives of 29 Israelis and four foreign nationals. Some 200 Palestinians have also been killed over the same period, the majority of them while carrying out attacks against Israeli civilians or soldiers, and the others during clashes with troops, according to the Israeli army.

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