Eight Wounded in Terror Attack in Central Israel, Assailant Shot Dead

According to eyewitnesses, the Palestinian assailant carried a knife and pepper spray and tried to open the doors of cars standing at an intersection in central Israel, before being shot dead by an off-duty police officer

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The site of the stabbing attack, on Thursday.
The site of the stabbing attack, on Thursday.Credit: Josh Breiner

Eight people were lightly wounded Thursday evening when a Palestinian stabbed one and pepper sprayed the rest at an intersection near the central Israeli city of Modi'in, before being shot dead.

The assailant, armed with a knife and pepper spray, had approached cars at the intersection and attempted to open their doors and stab those inside.

An off-duty police officer who happened to be at the scene ultimately shot and killed the man, sustaining light injuries to his face in the struggle.

Mohammed Abu Jumaa

The assailant, identified as Mohammed Abu Jumaa, was a 23-year-old East Jerusalem resident from the At-Tur neighborhood, according to police.

Jumaa was previously arrested by police last October for allegedly throwing stones, and was held in detention for three days.

Israel's Magen David Adom rescue service reported that he opened the doors of two cars, and during a struggle with the passengers lightly wounded two men aged 40 and 23, and pepper sprayed the other passengers.

Paramedics treated eight victims in all: the two men who suffered light stab wounds, and the five who were sprayed with pepper spray. Three victims were taken to the hospital in fair condition.

Police are describing the incident as a terror attack. A senior police official told Haaretz that the attack was "incited by online discourse," reflecting Israeli security forces' increasing preoccupation with rhetoric on Facebook, TikTok and messaging apps. On Wednesday, Israel's Police Commissioner Kobi Shabtai suggested in an interview that social media should be shut down if another round of violence erupts in mixed Jewish-Arab cities.

coming on the heels of Tuesday's attack, in which an 84-year-old woman was beaten to death on the street in the city of Holon. The suspect, 28-year-old Moussa Sarsour from the West Bank city of Qalqilya, worked at a nearby construction site and had a permit to work in Israel.

Amid the manhunt for the perpetrator, Sarsour hanged himself in Tel Aviv. Israeli security services are considering the killing to be a terror attack, though no note or other indication of the assailant's intent has been found.

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