An Arab-Israeli assailant drove his car into a young woman and stabbed three other victims in a terrorist attack north of Hadera on Sunday evening, the latest in a spiral of violence throughout the country.
Dep.-Ch. Jamal Hakrush, deputy head of the Coastal District of the Israel Police said “an attacker driving a car, got out with a knife and stabbed four people who were taken for medical treatment.”
Hakrush said the perpetrator was apprehended by civilians and police and would be questioned. Police were searching for possible accomplices, he added.
The terrorist who carried out the attack in Hadera has been named by the Shin Bet as 20-year-old Ala Zwid, a resident of Umm el-Fahm who is originally from the Palestinian village of Masilat a-Hartaiyya near Jenin. Zwid came to Israel with his father under the Family Unification Law.
Magen David Adom paramedics at the scene told reporters they found a woman, 19, with a multisystemic injury, lying on the side of the road. They rushed her on a respirator, and unconscious, to Hillel Yaffe Medical Center in Hadera.
The hospital said she was in stable condition, but suffering severe internal, head and facial injuries.
The other victims included a 45-year-old man lightly hurt with stab wounds to his lower body, a 14-year-old boy hit by the car and lightly to moderately wounded and a 19-year-old man with light to moderate injuries after being hit by the vehicle.
The incident happened on a stretch of Route 65 next to a busy shopping center near the entrance to Kibbutz Gan Shmuel. Further up Route 65 are the Arab villages of the Wadi Ara, including Umm el-Fahm, the site of some of the more violent riots in Israel in October 2000 when 13 Israeli Arabs were killed by security forces.
Yisrael Beytenu leader Avigdor Liberman said the “cruel attack that a resident of Umm el-Fahm committed proves once again that the problem among Israeli Arabs is not a matter of a few ‘bad weeds,’ but rather a whole garden poisoned by Arab Knesset members.”
Liberman called for law enforcement authorities to stop being apologetic to “terrorists on the streets and in the Knesset” and to implement tougher legislation.
Joint List leader Ayman Odeh condemned the Gan Shmuel attack and said he was heartbroken children were wounded.
“We are in the midst of horrible days, caused by the cruel and irresponsible government, but [such attacks] are not our path and never will be,” Odeh said. “This government and the prime minister are to blame for this awful situation.
We will continue to struggle in a just manner to bring about justice and peace for the two peoples living in this land.”
Near Ramallah, a 13-year-old boy, Ahmad Sharaka, was shot dead during a clash south of El-Bireh, the Palestinian news agency Ma’an reported. It quoted Palestinian medics as saying Sharaka was shot in the neck with a live round.
“He was rushed to the Palestinian Medical Complex in Ramallah where doctors operated on him, before he succumbed to his wounds,” Ma’an said. “Another Palestinian was shot in his leg with a live round during the protest in Al-Balu area of southern Bireh, while another was injured by a rubber-coated steel bullet.”
Earlier Sunday the IDF said its troops confronted one of the largest demonstrations of recent days by more than 1,000 Palestinians bused from a university in Nablus to the vicinity of the Har Bracha settlement.
The protesters threw firebombs and stones at the troops and set tires on fire.
Smaller clashes occurred on Sunday in Tulkarm, and in parts of the southern West Bank.
The IDF said none of its soldiers were wounded, and that troops fired low caliber rifle shots at the legs of some protesters to disperse them.
Five Israeli motorists were lightly wounded in rock-throwing attacks elsewhere in the West Bank.
A Gazan rocket exploded in an open area in the Eshkol region on Sunday night. The rocket did not trigger warning sirens as it was headed towards an unpopulated area. There were no injuries.
In Jerusalem three Jewish teenage girls pepper-sprayed an Arab man downtown, and were taken into custody. Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said the victim was treated at the scene by Magen David Adom paramedics for pain in his eyes, but was not seriously wounded.
Rosenfeld said two extra Border Police units comprised of some 200 officers have been deployed in Jerusalem and that six sophisticated metal detectors have been added in the Old City.
“The metal detectors have been effective in helping police identify a far greater number of suspicious individuals to help prevent more attacks,” Rosenfeld said.Gil Hoffman and Daniel K. Eisenbud contributed to this report.