Shin Bet: Recent Stabbing by Sudanese National Was ISIS-inspired Attack

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The scene of the Ashkelon stabbing attack, Feb. 7, 2016.
The scene of the Ashkelon stabbing attack, Feb. 7, 2016.Credit: Medabrim Tikshoret

A stabbing attack carried out by a Sudanese national in the coastal city of Ashkelon two weeks ago was inspired by the Islamic State group, the Shin Bet security service said on Thursday.

An Israeli soldier was lightly wounded in a stabbing attack in Ashkelon on February 7. The assailant, identified as Kamel Hassan, a 32-year-old Sudanese national residing in Ashkelon, was shot and wounded at the scene of the attack, and later succumbed to his wounds. This was the first attack in Israel committed by a citizen of Sudan.

A joint investigation by the Shin Bet and the police revealed that Hassan, a devout Muslim, was motivated by ISIS. Photos of ISIS loyalists from different places around the world were found on his cell phone, the Shin Bet added.

Hassan infiltrated into Israel from Egypt, and was arrested in 2009 on violence-related offenses. Hassan escaped from the Holot detention facility in the Negev, where he had stayed in 2014 for a month. Hassan had resided in Ashdod and Ashkelon since then.

As of the end of 2015, there were 8,353 Sudanese nationals in Israel, the Population and Immigration Authority reported, meaning that they constitute about 19 percent of all asylum seekers in the country. Most of the Sudanese in Israel are Arabic-speaking Muslims.

The attack was condemned by Mutasim Ali, a leader of asylum seekers in Israel who is himself from Sudan. "This is very serious if it's someone from our community.  We roundly condemn it. It's not representative," he said. "Our community will never constitute a danger to the State of Israel or to Israelis," he added.

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