A Palestinian man stabbed 12 people, seriously wounding several, on a bus in central Tel Aviv before he was chased down, shot and arrested, Israeli police said yesterday, describing the assault as a “terror attack.”
It was the latest in a spate of attacks in which Palestinians have used knives, acid and vehicles as weapons in recent months, leaving many dead and injured.
Police identified the assailant as a Palestinian from the West Bank and said he had entered Israel illegally.
The assailant, who was on the bus traveling with the other passengers during the morning rush hour, began stabbing people, including the driver, then managed to get out of the bus and started fleeing the scene.
Officers from a prison service who happened to be nearby and saw the bus swerving out of control and a man running away, gave chase, shot the man in the leg, wounding him, and subsequently arrested him.
“We believe it was a terror attack,” police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said.
Three people were seriously hurt, four were in moderate condition and another five sustained lighter wounds, hospital sources said. Seven more were treated for shock.
The suspect is in custody and the police are questioning him now, Rosenfeld said.
The stabbing is the latest in a spree of “lone-wolf” attacks that have plagued Israel in recent months. About a dozen people have been killed in Palestinian attacks, including five people killed with guns and meat cleavers in a bloody assault on a Jerusalem synagogue.
Israeli officials say the attacks stem from incitement by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and other Palestinian leaders.
Most of the violence has occurred in Jerusalem, though 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 Palestinians demand as their future capital.
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