Tourist killed, over a dozen Israelis wounded in spate of attacks

In three attacks within a matter of hours, individual Palestinians carry out stabbing and shooting attacks in Tel Aviv, East Jerusalem and Petah Tikva. All three attackers are killed on the scene.

Blood at the scene of a stabbing attack in Jaffa, March 8, 2016. (Yotam Ronen/
Blood at the scene of a stabbing attack in Jaffa, March 8, 2016. (Yotam Ronen/

A Palestinian man stabbed 13 people, wounding 12 people and killing one, before being shot to death by Israeli police along the Jaffa waterfront Tuesday evening. The fatality was an American tourist, police said, and two of the other victims were “minorities,” official-speak for Arabs.

Two other attacks took place within a matter of hours elsewhere in Israel and East Jerusalem.

In the second attack, in the Tel Aviv suburb of Petah Tikva, a Palestinian man stabbed an Israeli man in a liquor store. In that attack, the victim reportedly pulled the knife out of himself and, together with the store owner, proceeded to stab the attacker to death.

In a third attack, a Palestinian man shot two Israeli police officers in the head and neck along the seam line where East Jerusalem meets West Jerusalem. One of the officers was in critical condition, the other’s injuries were described as serious.

U.S. Vice President Joe Biden arrived in Israel on Tuesday, although there was no evidence the attacks were meant to coincide with his visit. Police denied that there were any ties between the three attacks. All three attackers were killed at the scenes of the respective attacks.

Video from the Jaffa attack showed police officers training their guns on the suspect, wounded lying motionless on the ground, as bystanders urging the officers to shoot him in the head. One bystander can be heard telling them not to shoot.

For the past five months, since October 2015, individual Palestinians have carried out hundreds of stabbing and shooting attacks against Israeli security forces and civilians. The vast majority of the attacks have taken place beyond the Green Line — in the West Bank and East Jerusalem.

This is the second high-profile, multiple-casualty attack in Tel Aviv since the start of the year. On New Year’s Day, a Palestinian citizen of Israel shot and killed three people on Dizengoff Street, an area known for retail stores and sidewalk cafes.

Since the spate of stabbing attacks began, Palestinians have argued that Israeli security forces were shooting to kill alleged and potential attackers even when they could have been safely apprehended, with many describing Israel’s policy as extra-judicial killing.

At least 160 Palestinians have been killed by Israelis since October, including 41 minors. Over 30 Israelis have been killed by Palestinians in the same period.