Israel Identifies Assailant in Shavuot Stabbing Attack in Jerusalem

The alleged attacker, a Christian living in Jerusalem's Old City, had been previously arrested on suspicion of stabbing Jews.

Olivier Fitoussi

Israel has identified the alleged assailant in a Jerusalem stabbing attack in late May as John Kakish, a Christian living in Jerusalem's Old City.

Two yeshiva students were injured in the attack, which occurred on the Shavuot holiday, near the Damascus Gate while heading for the Western Wall. They suffered light to moderate wounds.

Kakish, according to the Shin Bet security service, had been previously arrested on suspicion of stabbing Jews. A Shin Bet official asserted that Kakish confessed under interrogation that he carried out the stabbing "out of a desire to take revenge on Jews," after being exposed to racist slogans in the city and being the victim of acts of violence.

"This stabbing attack joins a list of attacks carried out by lone assailants in Jerusalem this past year," commented the Shin Bet. "It is instructive of the high level of threat from lone assailants, especially those who engaged in violence in their past and on the need for effective deterrence and executing the law with all involved in these types of attacks."

The stabbing marked the fourth attack in two weeks on Israelis in the Jerusalem area. There have not been any reported stabbings since.