Palestinian stabs Tel Aviv commuters in terror attack

Medics and police evacuate an Israeli man who was injured in a stabbing attack on the No. 40 Dan bus in Tel Aviv on January 21, 2015. (photo credit: Flash90)

Medics and police evacuate an Israeli man who was injured in a stabbing attack on the No. 40 Dan bus in Tel Aviv on January 21, 2015. (photo credit: Flash90)

17 injured, four in serious condition, in rush-hour bus attack; suspect shot and detained by police

(SOURCE)   A Palestinian man stabbed commuters on a Tel Aviv bus during rush hour in Tel Aviv Wednesday morning, injuring some 17 people, several seriously, police said.

Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said police believe it was a “terror attack.”

Four of the victims were hospitalized in serious condition, another five were left in a moderate condition, and the remaining were lightly injured according to media reports.

The attacker was identified as a Palestinian from the West Bank city of Tulkarem, 23. He was shot after a short chase and taken into police custody.

The attack occurred at about 7:30 a.m. on a No. 40 bus heading north through the city from Bat Yam.

The attacker first stabbed the bus driver, Herzl Biton, who attempted to fight back, before attacking others as passengers attempted to escape 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 lightly and subsequently arrested him.

The incident happened at the Maariv Bridge, which spans a main artery in the city and was packed with rush hour traffic at the time.

Initial reports said prison service officers who were driving past the scene during the attack saw the assailant making his escape on foot and gave pursuit before shooting him in the leg.

Photographs from the scene that were posted to the Internet showed the attacker lying on the ground in handcuffs.

Video emerged of the suspected attacker after he was shot by officers.

He was reported to have illegally crossed from the West Bank into Israel several days before.
An ambulance leaving the scene of a stabbing in Tel Aviv on January 21, 2015. (screen capture: Channel 2)

An ambulance leaving the scene of a stabbing in Tel Aviv on January 21, 2015. (screen capture: Channel 2)

Ambulances and police vehicles filled the Maariv Bridge intersection, and police officers closed off the site after the stabbing attack, snarling traffic throughout the economic center.

Police and the Shin Bet Security Services officers began searching for possible accomplices who may have helped the attacker, and also upped readiness in case of possible copy cat attacks.

The incident came after several months of relative calm which followed a spate of terror attacks, many involving stabbings, during the fall months.

On November 10, soldier Almog Shiloni was stabbed to death in an attack outside a Tel Aviv train station.

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 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.