A Jordanian worker attacked and moderately wounded two people with a hammer in the southern Israeli city of Eilat on Friday. Initial findings led police to believe the attack was politically motivated.
The foreman at the site said other Jordanian workers attempted to subdue the assailant during the attack. The suspect has been handed over to the Shin Bet security service for questioning.
The two victims suffered moderate-to-serious head trauma and were evacuated to Yoseftal Medical Center in Eilat before being transferred to Soroka Medical Center in Be'er Sheva.
The Jordanian assailant had a daily worker visa, and according to the Population and Immigration Authority, began working in Israel on Thursday.
Tamir Gross, one of the two victims, said he had been among the workers conducting drilling from the deck of a ship. "Out of nowhere, I suddenly got three blows of a hammer on my head," he said. "I fell into the water and immediately the guy jumped in after me and began swimming toward me." Gross said he swam away and managed to ascend a ladder to a dock. "One of the Jordanian workers helped me," he said.
In June 2014, Israel approved the entry of up to 1,500 Jordanian laborers to the hotel industry in Eilat. Additionally, contractors were allowed to demand day-workers be let in, who were barred from staying in Israel overnight, to work in construction.
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