17 injured, four critically, in Tel Aviv terror attack

Ben Sales

TEL AVIV (JTA) — Seventeen people were wounded, some seriously, when a Palestinian terrorist boarded a bus in Tel Aviv, stabbing the driver and passengers.

Four victims, including the driver, remained in serious condition following the Wednesday morning attack.  The assailant, a 23-year-old Palestinian man from the West Bank city of Tulkarem, who had entered Israel illegally, was shot in the leg by a member of Israel’s Prison Service who was at the scene of the attack. He was apprehended by police.

The attack occurred on Tel Aviv’s number 40 bus at approximately 7 a.m. Wednesday while it was stopped at a major intersection. It is the first terror attack in Tel Aviv since an assailant killed a soldier in a stabbing attack at a train station in October.

Bus driver Herzl Biton, 55, fought with the assailant and sprayed him with pepper spray as he was being stabbed. Tel Aviv Police Commander Bentzi Sau called the attack a “nationalist incident” and praised Biton for having an “excellent reaction” to the stabbing.

“The attack in Tel Aviv is the direct result of the poisonous incitement spread by the Palestinian Authority toward the Jews and their state. The same terror tries to harm us in Paris, Brussels, and everywhere,” Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in a statement following the attack.