Sudanese migrant stabs 6 passersby in South TA

Witnesses say man ran amok with knife; 67 yr-old man stabbed in neck, rest of victims lightly wounded.

June 23, 2013 12:37
2 minute read.
Scene of stabbing attack by Sudanese migrant in south Tel Aviv

Police crime scene south Tel Aviv 370. (photo credit: Ben Hartman)

A Sudanese migrant stabbed several passersby near the Tel Aviv Central Bus Station in the south of the city, leaving one Israeli in moderate-to-serious condition and five other people lightly wounded.

According to Magen David Adom spokesman Zaki Heller, the most severe injury was to a 67-year-old Israeli man who was stabbed in the neck. The rest of the victims, two Israelis and three African migrants, were lightly wounded.

Eyewitnesses in Neveh Sha’anan described seeing a brawl break out between a large group of migrants Sunday morning, and that minutes later a man wielding a large knife began running down Bnei Brak Street stabbing people at random.

The man was tackled by a group of local Israelis along with some migrants, who held him until police arrived.

One witness said it took officers 20 minutes to arrive, even though the Lewinsky police station is located only about a couple hundred meters away.

Police suspect the incident began as a clash between migrants, but eyewitnesses said the man was indiscriminately stabbing people in his immediate vicinity.

One witness, a store owner named Danny, said he saw no argument, only that suddenly he saw a man running down the street with a 14-centimeter knife randomly stabbing people. He added that people began to panic and flee the area, unclear what was going on.

Another witness, Arik Ivgy, was working with his brother at a shoe store on the same block, when they heard a commotion and stepped outside, only for Arik’s brother to get stabbed in the arm by the man. Ivgy said his brother’s arm was covered in blood and that he managed to take him to the hospital and return to reopen his store.

“We see this violence all the time here, but usually it’s between them [African migrants], it’s not directed at us,” Ivgy said. “The problem is all of the bars. Every other store here is a bar, and they drink all night and can’t hold their liquor and things get violent.”

The area of south Tel Aviv in which the attack occurred is the unofficial center of the African migrant population in Israel, an area where they have long become the majority, and where most of the businesses are owned by migrants.

Israeli residents of the area and right-wing politicians have repeatedly complained to the government and police that the presence of African migrants has led to an increase of crime in the area.

Typically, when an incident like the stabbing on Sunday takes place, there are rallies of Jewish residents of south Tel Aviv who come to the scene to protest and speak to the press.

On Sunday, by midday the scene of the crime was rather quiet, and there were no such protests going on.

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