One Wounded in Stabbing Attack in Central Israeli City of Rosh Ha'ayin

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The scene of a stabbing attack in Rosh Ha'ayin, April 3, 2016.
The scene of a stabbing attack in Rosh Ha'ayin, April 3, 2016. Credit: Magen David Adom

A 30-year-old woman was lightly wounded in a stabbing attack in Rosh Ha’ayin on Sunday.

The alleged assailant, a 23-year-old Israeli Arab who worked in the town as a cleaning woman, was arrested by a security guard and several civilians.

The attack took place in the Afek industrial park. Police said that when the guard and the civilians witnessed the attack, they chased the assailant and managed to take away her knife, as well as another knife she had in her purse. 

Footage from a security camera shows one person trying to run the stabber over, while others threw stones and chairs at her until they brought her down. 

The assailant is a resident of the central Israeli Arab town of Kafr Qasem.

The victim, who was stabbed in the hand, was treated by an ambulance crew and then taken to Rabin Medical Center in Petah Tikva. Eli Pechter, a medic who helped treat her, said she was fully conscious and in good condition when she was evacuated from the scene.

One of the civilians who helped bring down the assailant told Channel 2 television that when he and the others saw the attack, “We immediately dropped everything and ran toward the terrorist. When we got near her, she abandoned the [victim] and started running after me. She had a large knife. 

“People tried to throw stones at her to neutralize her,” he continued. “They also tried to run her over, but she was muscular and strong and managed to evade them. In the end, they pinned her to a fence, and I and another guy brought her down to the ground. From that moment, she didn’t move.”

The assailant’s lawyer, Ihab Galgoly, said the fact that he was allowed to meet with his client immediately indicates that police don’t view the stabbing as a terror attack, because if they did, “there’s no doubt they would have forbidden the meeting.” He argued that the attack seems to have stemmed from a personal dispute.

“It’s impossible to buy this story of a terror attack immediately; we need to look into what happened on the ground and what developed during those seconds,” he added. “It could be that someone hurt her or there was an argument that developed into what happened, and it’s enough that she’s an Arab with a headscarf to define her as a terrorist.”

In an unrelated incident on Sunday, a knife-wielding Palestinian was arrested at the West Bank’s Tapuah Junction.

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