(Israel Hayom/Exclusive to JNS.org) More than a dozen Israelis were wounded, with at least four suffering serious injuries, when a Palestinian terrorist went on a stabbing spree at a main road intersection in central Tel Aviv on Wednesday morning.
A Palestinian male in his 20s from Tulkarem who had entered Israel illegally boarded Dan Bus No. 40, which was making its way from Bat Yam to northern Tel Aviv, at the Maariv junction. The terrorist pulled out a knife and stabbed the driver as well as a number of passengers before fleeing the bus. He then stabbed several nearby pedestrians.
The terrorist, who was later identified in media reports as Hamza Matrouk, was shot in the leg by Israel Prison Service (IPS) personnel who happened to be passing by the scene at the time of the attack. The IPS personnel detained the terrorist, who was lightly wounded, until police arrived to arrest him.
The Israelis wounded in the attack were transported to Sourasky Medical Center or Sheba Medical Center for treatment. Dr. Pini Halperin, head of the emergency room at Sourasky, said, “The terrorist tried to harm as many people as possible. He struck each wounded person at least once or twice. It appears he used a very sharp knife.”
Following the attack, the Israel Police raised its alert level across the country.
Hamas official Izzat al-Rishq called the attack “brave and heroic,” saying it was a carried out by a “hero.”
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said the attack was “the direct result of the poisonous incitement being disseminated by the Palestinian Authority (PA) against the Jews and their state. This same terrorism is trying to attack us in Paris, Brussels, and everywhere.”
“It is Hamas—the partners [of PA President Mahmoud Abbas] in a unity government—who hastened to commend this attack,” said Netanyahu. “This is the same Hamas that announced it will sue Israel at the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague. Abu Mazen (Abbas) is responsible for both the incitement and the dangerous move at the ICC in The Hague.”