Israeli Killed in Suspected Stabbing Attack; Palestinian Suspect Arrested

Suspect, 46-year-old Palestinian from village near Nablus, was transferred by police to Shin Bet for interrogation

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The scene of the stabbing in Petah Tikva, August 26 2020
The scene of the stabbing in Petah Tikva, August 26 2020Credit: MDA

A 39-year-old man was fatally stabbed in central Israel Wednesday by a Palestinian from the West Bank, who was later arrested at the scene by the Israel Police.

The attacker, a 46-year-old from a village near Nablus with a valid Israeli work permit, is being questioned by the Shin Bet. Police said that according to the investigation it is suspected that the attacker had political motives. 

Shai OhayonCredit: Courtesy of the Ohayon family

After stabbing the 39-year-old victim, Shai Ohayon, as he got off a bus, the suspect fled towards the nearby Segula Junction in Petah Tikva. A passerby saw the attacker leaving the scene, and chased after him. He was later arrested by police, and a long knife was found in his hand.

A first responder who arrived at the scene said that the victim was already unconscious. He was treated in the trauma ward of the nearby Beilinson Hospital, where he later passed away.

Following the incident, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu sent his condolences to the victim's family. "On behalf of all Israeli citizens, I send my deepest condolences to the Ohayon family on the murder of the father of the family, Rabbi Shai, in a stabbing attack today in Petah Tikva. My heart aches. My wife Sarah and I are embracing the family, a wife and four children left today without a father. We will work to demolish the terrorist's house and carry out the most severe punishment."

Ohayon was the father of four children, aged four to 13. His father-in-law, Ofer Karaz, said: "When I heard of the attack and the details I straight away thought it was my son-in-law. I tried to call him a few times and my daughter also tried, but the phone was not available. Then a relative called me and told me it was him."

Karaz said that Ohayon taught Torah lessons in Moshav Sha'ar Efraim, where he lived until three years ago. "People loved him very much, they would say that his lessons send chills."

Ohayon's friend, David Yosef, said: "He studied, was ordained a rabbi and also worked and supported his family with dignity. He planned to go to Uman and wait to see if it would be possible to fly. He was righteous, the Holy One took a holy man."

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