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Palestinian stabs Arab-Israeli in 'defense of al-Aqsa'

Paramedics at the scene of a stabbing attack in Petah Tikvah, Israel, on July 24 2017.
Magen David Adom (MDA)
Various Israeli news sites reported that he had told police that he thought the stabbing victim was Jewish

An Arab-Israeli man is in moderate condition after being stabbed by a Palestinian in what the perpetrator said was a terror attack in "defense of al-Aqsa" in the central Israeli city of Petah Tikva on Monday.

Police say the victim was a resident of Arab-Israeli village Arraba in northern Israel and the attacker was from the West Bank city of Qalqilya.

The 21-year old was imprisoned for terrorist activity in 2015 and 2016, a police statement added. He has been turned over to the Israel Security Agency, known as the Shin Bet, for interrogation. 

The attacker reportedly said "I did it to defend Al-Aqsa," referring to the mosque at the revered Temple Mount/Haram Al Sharif holy site in Jerusalem's Old City, which has been a point of boiling tensions between Israel and the Palestinians in recent weeks.

The conflict broke out after three Palestinians shot and killed two Israeli police on duty at the ultra-sensitive compound. The event sparked violent clashes and another deadly stabbing attack of an Israeli family over the weekend that left three dead. 

Various Israeli news sites reported that he had told police that he thought the stabbing victim was Jewish.

A witness quoted by the Walla news site said that the stabber entered a shawarma shop and stabbed a driver for the national bus company, Egged, who was on a break.

Security camera footage that emerged on social media shows customers fleeing the shop, and the attacker following them. 

Additional Israeli media reports said the Palestinian then fled to a nearby pizzeria where he subdued by a worker who hit him with a large pizza tray.

Another video that emerged from the scene showed the assailant being dragged away by police with blood pouring from a wound in his head, while bystanders hurl abuse. 


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