American tourist killed, 10 people wounded in stabbing spree in Tel Aviv (VIDEO)
Five victims are in serious condition, while four sustained moderate injuries, and one was lightly wounded, Israeli media reported, citing Israeli emergency medical service.
The Russian embassy in Israel has confirmed that two Russian citizens, supposedly husband and wife, were among the victims of the attack.
“It has been confirmed that there are two Russian tourists [among the wounded],” Ruslan Kandaurov, a diplomat at the Russian embassy to Israel, told TASS news agency.
The Wolfson Medical Center in Tel Aviv has confirmed that the murdered man was a 29-year-old American tourist. Officials at Tel Aviv’s Ichilov Hospital also revealed that one victim is a pregnant woman and another an Israeli Arab, Times of Israel reports.
The attacker stabbed his victims at three different locations within Jaffa in an assault lasting 20 minutes. He was shot dead by the police and later identified as a 21-year-old man from a West Bank Palestinian refugee camp in Qalqiliya, according to the Times of Israel.
The attack came as the US Vice President Joe Biden, who has arrived in Israel for a two-day visit, was attending an event at the Peres Peace Center, just a 15-minute walk from the scene. Sources from Biden’s delegation told the Jerusalem Post that, though the delegation was aware of the incident, it had not influenced the vice president’s schedule.
The stabbing spree in Jaffa was the third incident in a series of attacks throughout Israel on Tuesday. Three people were wounded earlier in two separate attacks that took place within minutes of each other in Jerusalem and the Tel Aviv suburb of Petah Tikva.
In Jerusalem’s Old City, a gunman riding a motorcycle seriously injured two Israeli security officers, leaving one in critical condition, Israeli emergency medical service said. Police also shot that assailant dead.
In Petah Tikva, an Israeli sustained moderate wounds when the assailant followed him into a liquor store and then stabbed him in the upper body, according to police. The victim then reportedly managed to overpower the attacker and stab him to death with the help of the shop owner, Israeli media report.
Following the attacks, Hamas released a statement praising the assailant for his “heroic operations.”
“Hamas celebrates the martyrs that have ascended through these operations, and confirms that their pure blood will, God willing, be the fuel for escalating the intifada,” the group wrote on its website, as quoted by Times of Israel.
The wave of violence between Israelis and Palestinians erupted in early October when Israel tried to restrict the access of Palestinian men to the Al-Aqsa Mosque in the Old City of Jerusalem. During almost five months of unrest, Israeli security forces have killed at least 168 Palestinians, 111 of whom allegedly initiated attacks. Before Tuesday’s attacks, Palestinian assailants had killed 28 Israelis, as well as one US citizen.