Israeli stabs another Jew by mistake, trying to avenge wave of Palestinian stabbings

© Ammar Awad
An Israeli man stabbed a fellow Jew by mistake, in apparent revenge for the recent spate of Palestinian-on-Israeli stabbings. The specter of increasingly violent nationalism has steadily been rising on both sides.

The stabbing occurred in the Haifa suburb of Kiryat Ata on Tuesday, according to Haaretz. The attacker allegedly thought his victim was an Arab. When it became clear what had transpired, he sought to flee the scene. A security guard shot at him, grazing a bystander’s arm in the process.

The suspect was apprehended and is now being questioned by police. He is a local, aged 36. His victim is 23 and is from the same town. The injured man’s condition has been described by doctors as moderate. He sustained several stab wounds to the back.

According to police, a civilian tried to stop the escaping perpetrator, but failed.

The attacker tried to make it to his car, but stopped in his tracks after hearing the gunshots, allowing the approaching officers to detain him.

Later, from his hospital bed, the victim recounted the ordeal.

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“We are all human beings, we are all equal,” store worker Uri Rezken told the Guardian. “It does not matter if an Arab stabbed me or a Jew stabbed me, a religious, Orthodox or secular person. I have no words to describe this hate crime.”

Rezken described feeling four stabs to his back, before hearing his attacker say “You deserve it, you deserve it. You are bastard Arabs.”

Rezken tried to protect himself with a shopping trolley, shouting in the process: “I am a Jew, I am a Jew.” But the attacker did not stop. “He tried to stab me again, so I fought him again with my trolley.”

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This is the third incident in a week that a Jew tried to attack an Arab in apparent revenge for the more than dozen cases of stabbings that have been carried out at random by Muslims in Israel. Last Friday, a 17-year-old from Dimona stabbed four Palestinians.

Police are working overtime and new security measures are being put in place by Israel, as it struggles to cope with the rising incidence of knife attacks. Police presence is now ubiquitous at every crowded public place, including shopping malls, transport hubs and so on.