Police checking if Kiryat Ata man stabbed victim because he thought he was Arab

Security guard lightly wounds passerby as he tries to prevent assailant from fleeing.

October 13, 2015 13:38
1 minute read.

Israel police officers. (photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)

A man from Kiryat Ata stabbed and moderately wounded another Jewish man because he thought he was an Arab, police said on Tuesday.

The apparent failed nationalist crime took place at the Sha’ar Hatzafon Mall next to the IKEA branch in Kiryat Ata when the attacker, described as a 36-year-old local Jewish man, stabbed the victim a few times in the back with a box cutter and then tried to flee.

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The stabber was running to his car when a security guard from the shopping center shot at him, missing but grazing and lightly hurting a bystander, police said.

The stabbing victim, a 22-year-old Jewish man from Nahariya, was moderately wounded and hospitalized.

Investigators questioned the suspect and determined that he “stabbed the victim most likely because he was planning to attack Arabs,” the Coastal District Police spokesman said about an hour after the incident.

Shortly before the stabbing in Kiryat Ata, police in Netanya received a called about an assault on the city’s Sironit Beach. According to police, a woman from the Arab village of Taibe was at the beach with her two sons – both in their 20s – when a man carrying a baton of some sort struck and lightly wounded one of her sons and fled.

Police said they have not yet determined if the attack had a nationalist motivation.

There have been a number of nationalist attacks by Jews against Arabs recently.

Most notably, on Friday in Dimona, a 17-year-old Jewish male stabbed four Arab men, later telling police that he did so “because he thinks all Arabs are terrorists,” according to investigators. Two of the victims were lightly wounded and two moderately wounded.

Last Thursday, after a mob of Jewish men in Netanya attacked three Arab men in what is believed to have been an attempted lynch. Police have arrested several people suspected to have been involved in the attack, but have not described the incident as nationalist, referring to it only as “a brawl.”

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