A 32-year-old Arab-Israeli man was stabbed three times by a Palestinian attacker in the Tel Aviv suburb of Petah Tikva just before midday this morning. The victim was rushed to hospital with moderate-to-severe injuries.
Police are treating the incident as an act of terror and it is assumed that the victim, an Israeli-Arab bus driver, was mistaken to be Jewish.
The attack took place at a shawarma shop, where the attacker gashed the neck of the victim, before continuing towards a nearby pizzeria. The owner of the pizzeria said that the assailant tried to swipe at him with the knife three times, but he stopped the man by using a pizza platter.
The assailant, a 21-year-old Palestinian from the West Bank town of Qalqilya, was arrested and taken for questioning by police. It has emerged that the man was released just last year from prison for “violent activity” against Israel.
According to the Israeli press, the assailant told police investigators that he carried out the attack in response to Israel’s actions at the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. It has been reported that he said he carried out the attack “for Al-Aqsa”.
The attack follows a weekend of deadly violence in the region catalysed by the installation of metal detectors at the Al-Aqsa entrance of the Temple Mount.