Man killed in stabbing attack in central Israel, Palestinian arrested

Shay Ohayon, 39, was named as the victim of the stabbing. The Shin Bet is interrogating the Palestinian suspect.

Stabbing in Petah Tikva, August 26, 2020 (Credit: Netivei Israel)
A Palestinian suspect was arrested after allegedly stabbing and killing Shay Ohayon, 39, on Wednesday at the Segulah Junction in Petah Tikva. The background of the incident is still being investigated, but Israel Police say that it is being looked into as a terror attack.
Magen David Adom paramedics found the victim unconscious and without a pulse at a bus stop in the area and transferred him to Belinson Medical Center in critical condition while conducting resuscitation efforts. The victim passed away at the hospital.

The knife that was found on the suspect. (Credit: Police Spokesperson's Unit)The knife that was found on the suspect. (Credit: Police Spokesperson's Unit)

The suspect, a 46-year-old Palestinian from a town near Nablus in the West Bank, stabbed the victim and then calmly walked away from the scene towards Segula Junction where he was arrested by police. The suspect was found with a knife on him. Later, he was handed over to the Shin Bet and was interrogated. Interrogators believe it may have been a terror attack, and are looking into the possibility of the suspect receiving help in carrying out the attack.
The suspect reportedly had no criminal background and held a permit to work in Israel as a construction worker.
According to N12, the suspect's calm demeanor and general behavior following the attack raises certain concerns, as it does not correspond with the expected behavior of terrorists. The Shin Bet uses behavioral profiles to prevent terrorist attacks and carry out preemptive measures.
The suspect was reportedly mentally ill and was recently treated by the Palestinian Authority's health and welfare entities, according to Ynet reporter Yoav Ziton.


"We found the victim laid out next to a bus with no pulse and not breathing with multiple stab wounds to his upper torso," said Hezki Farkash, an official in the motorcycle unit of MDA Hatzalah in Petah Tikva. "We carried out resuscitation efforts and attempted to stop the bleeding and transferred him in a MDA intensive care vehicle as he was in critical condition."
"I arrived at the scene after the stabbing when I saw a citizen chasing the stabber," said Kobi Fuchs, a Petah Tikva resident, to Maariv, The Jerusalem Post's sister paper. "The citizen shouted 'terrorist' and knocked him down. The stabber didn't manage to run far. The police came and arrested him."
The victim, Rabbi Shay Ohayon, 39, was a prominent figure in his neighborhood and according to his neighbors was always offering Torah lessons to anyone who was interested. He leaves behind a wife and four children.
The Ohayon family objected to the police’s request to perform an autopsy on Shay, and turned to ZAKA, a haredi (ultra-Orthodox) volunteer emergency response organization, for legal help, according to Michael Gutwein from the legal department of ZAKA. 
"The body of the deceased was moved, as police requested, to the Institute of Forensic Medicine for further investigation," Gutwein added. 
After continued efforts, that including the involvement of the ZAKA chairman and MKs Ariel Boso and Uri Maklev, police relinquished their request to perform an autopsy and released the body for burial.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu expressed his condolences to the victim's family and promised to respond harshly. 
"On behalf of all of Israel's citizens I send my deepest condolences to the Ohayon family for the murder of the family's father, Rabbi Shay, in a stabbing attack in Petah Tikva earlier today. The heart aches. My wife Sarah and myself are hugging the family, a wife and four children who are left without a father," Netanyahu wrote on Twitter.
"We will demolish the terrorist's house and work for carrying out the most severe punishment possible,” Netanyahu added.

Earlier on Wednesday, Netanyahu shared an article on Facebook about how no Israeli civilian had been killed in a terrorist attack for a full year for the first time in 56 years.
"Before everything, I am here in order to protect your lives," wrote Netanyahu. "We will continue to bring security and within it to bring peace as well. We are protecting the security of Israel."

President Reuven Rivlin also expressed his sympathies to the family: "At this time, I send my condolences to the Ohayon family after receiving the terrible news about the murder of Rabbi Shay by the hands of a despicable terrorist. We've lost a man of the Torah, a spring of knowledge, a father, who left behind him four [children] who we embrace into our hearts. We won't stop until the terrorist and those who helped him face justice, and we won't allow terrorism to lift its head. May he rest in peace," Rivlin wrote.
Petah Tikva Mayor Rami Greenberg said that the municipality would support the victim's family in any way they may need.
"Unfortunately, we were told about the difficult event that saw a local resident murdered by a terrorist - a vile person. I would like to express my sympathy to the family and support them in this challenging time, Greenberg said.
"The Petah Tikva municipality will do everything in its power to support the grieving family and provide any assistance they may need. I would also like to thank the security forces for their quick response and for apprehending the terrorist quickly," Greenberg added.