(Video courtesy Channel 10)
Hours after a Palestinian terrorist boarded a Tel Aviv bus, stabbing and wounding nine Israelis on Wednesday morning, dramatic security camera footage of the event was revealed.
The footage in question, first obtained by Channel 10, captures those aboard the bus fleeing from the scene, followed on foot by the 23-year-old terrorist from Tulkarm in the northern West Bank.
As the terrorist runs from the bus, he is seen stabbing a woman in the back, who then falls to the ground.
The terrorist continues on his way away from the bus, pursued on foot by three Israel Prison Service officers, who happened to be driving behind the bus at the time that the terror attack took place.
At least four of the victims – including the bus driver – were listed in serious condition, while three others suffered moderate injuries and two were lightly hurt. Several more people suffered shock, according to Magen David Adom paramedics.
The attack began at about 7 a.m., as the bus was reaching the Maariv junction in the center of the city. Eyewitnesses and police said the attacker began stabbing the bus driver repeatedly in the upper body. The bus began swerving in its lane as the driver fought with the attacker. The driver, a veteran with over two decades on the job, even tried to use pepper spray on the man, who began then attacking other passengers, police said.
The swerving bus caught the attention of an Israel Prison Service “Nahshon Unit” team who were driving behind the bus on the way to the Tel Aviv courthouse to pick up detainees. When the bus came to a stop and passengers began fleeing, three of the IPS officers began to chase the attacker as he fled east through parking lots and alleyways towards HaMasger Street.
The IPS officers managed to shoot the attacker in the leg
and neutralize him, placing him under arrest.
The Shin Bet named the terrorist as Hamza Muhammad Hassan Matrouk
, born in 1992, who has no history of past offenses. The attacker is from Tulkarm, from where he set out on Wednesday morning, the domestic intelligence agency said.
During initial questioning, Matrouk said he carried out the stabbing spree after entering Israel illegally, and purchased the knife in Tulkarm.
He said he was driven by last summer's conflict in Gaza, unrest on the Temple Mount, and watching extremist Islamic content that glorifies "the reaching of heaven," the Shin Bet added.
The attacker was treated in hospital.
One bystander, a man named Ezra Malfout working at a parking lot at the junction said he saw the attacker chase two wounded victims through the lot before fleeing from pursuing officers.
Blood was splattered intermittently along a few hundred meters of the crime scene, from where the attack first began, to where the victims lay waiting for paramedics on the sidewalks and in the surrounding parking lots.
MDA paramedic Shai Pinhas, who arrived first at the scene of the attack, reported that he "saw a bus surrounded by tumult. There were wounded people walking around, some of them outside of the bus and two of them inside. Everyone was fully conscious but with stab wounds to the chest and extremities."
Yarkon police subdistrict Commander Yehuda Dahan said that their initial investigation indicates that the man boarded the 40 bus somewhere in the area of the old Central Bus Station in south Tel Aviv and began his attack while the bus neared the Maariv junction. He said that at the moment it appears he acted alone, but they have not yet ruled out the possibility that he had accomplices.
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