Nine hurt in Tel Aviv stab attack

Published: Wednesday 21st January 2015 by The News Editor

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A Palestinian man has stabbed nine people on a bus in central Tel Aviv before he was chased down, shot and arrested, Israeli police said.

Officers described the assault as a terror attack and said four people were seriously hurt while five sustained lighter wounds.

Islamic militant group Hamas praised the attack as “brave”.

It was the latest in a spate of attacks in which Palestinians have used knives, acid and vehicles as weapons in recent months. Police identified the assailant as a Palestinian from the West Bank and said he had entered Israel illegally.

The attacker began stabbing other passengers and the driver, then managed to get out of the bus and started fleeing the scene.

Officers from a prison service happened to be nearby and saw the bus swerving out of control and a man running away, so they gave chase, shot the man in the leg, wounding him lightly, and subsequently arrested him.

“We believe it was a terror attack,” said police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld. The attacker is in custody and detectives are questioning him now, he added.

The stabbing is the latest in a type of “lone wolf” attacks that have plagued Israel in recent months. About a dozen people have been killed in Palestinian attacks, including five killed with guns and meat cleavers in a bloody assault on a Jerusalem synagogue.

Hamas, the Islamic militant group that controls the Gaza Strip, did not claim responsibility but praised the attack as “brave and heroic” in a tweet by Izzat Risheq, a Hamas leader residing in Qatar.

The stabbing is a “natural response to the occupation and its terrorist crimes against our people”, Mr Risheq said.

Israeli officials said the recent attacks stemmed from incitement by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and other Palestinian leaders.

Most of the violence has occurred in Jerusalem, although there have been other attacks in Tel Aviv and the West Bank.

In Jerusalem, the violence came after months of tensions between Jews and Palestinians in east Jerusalem – the section of the city the Palestinians demand as their future capital. The area experienced unrest and near-daily attacks by Palestinians following a wave of violence last summer, capped by a 50-day war between Israel and Hamas militants in Gaza.

Published: Wednesday 21st January 2015 by The News Editor

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