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Terror Attack: 12 stabbed on bus UPDATED

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LATEST - UPDATED 13h15: At 7:28am Israeli time this morning, the first call came in of a stabbing attack at the centre of Tel Aviv, not far from MDA Headquarters. MDA ambulances, Mobile ICU units (MICU), and teams of first responders on 3-wheeled Medi-Cycles were on the scene within minutes - treating & evacuating those in severe & moderate condition. All were suffering from stab wounds. KEEP CHECKING SAJR FOR UPDATES
by ANT KATZ | Jan 21, 2015

Most recent post: by HAARETZ

12 wounded in stabbing attack on Tel Aviv bus

Three in serious condition; assailant, West Bank male who entered Israel illegally, was shot in the leg; Hamas official hails 'bold, heroic act'; Netanyahu blames PA for attack, Lieberman blames Palestinian and Israeli Arab leadership.

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RIGHT: Evacuated wounded

Israelis were wounded in a stabbing attack on a Tel Aviv bus on Wednesday morning, three of them seriously. 

The assailant, a 23-year-old male from the West Bank city of Tulkarem who entered Israel illegally, was shot in the leg by an Israel Prison Service officer on Hamasger Street, near the scene of the incident, and taken into custody. 

According to the Palestinian news agency Ma'an, the attacker is Hamza Muhammad Hasan Matrouk.

Palestinian sources say he does not belong to any group. 

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LEFT: The attacker lies handcuffed on the ground in this screengrab from Israel TV2


The attack took place on Bus number 40 on Menachem Begin Road, a major thoroughfare in Tel Aviv, near the Ma'ariv Bridge. Three other people were moderately wounded, and five of the casualties were in light condition, according to Magen David Adom emergency services. A further five were suffering from shock. 

The stabbing is being treated as a "terror attack," Israel Police foreign press spokesman Micky Rosenfeld wrote on Twitter.

Assailant boarded bus, pulled knife & attacked

According to a preliminary investigation, the assailant got to Tel Aviv on Wednesday morning and boarded the bus at the Old Central Bus Station, a short distance from the scene of the attack. After the bus passed two stops and more passengers got on, the attacker took out a knife and started stabbing people.

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RIGHT: This overhead picture of the scene was supplied to JR by MDA Israel

Given that the perpetrator bought the knife in the West Bank, he will be brought before a military court in Ariel.

As he is still in hospital with the wound to his leg, he wasn't taken to court on Wednesday. His detention will be extended by 96 hours.    

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu blamed the Palestinian Authority for the attack, saying it was a "direct result of the Palestinian Authority's venomous incitement against the Jews and their state.

The same terror tries to hurt us in Paris, Brussels and everywhere," he said. 

Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman, meanwhile, condemned all the Palestinian and Israeli Arab leadership, stating that those behind the attack "stand behind the Rahat riots," and Jerusalem attacks: Abu Mazen [Mahmoud Abbas], [Ismail] Haniyeh, Raed Saleh, Haneen Zoabi, Ahmed Tibi and their partners. It's all part of the same process of undermining Israel's right to exist as a Jewish state."

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LEFT: MDA attend to a survivor on the scene before moving him to hospital. At one stage MDA had 8 Mobile Intensive Care Units at the scene

Habayit Hayehudi leader Economy Minister Naftali Bennett also blamed Abbas for the attack. Labor leader Isaac Herzog, meanwhile, said that Israelis don't feel safe in Israel today. 

Izzat al-Risheq, a member of Hamas' political bureau, described the attack as a "heroic act."

"The attack carried out this morning is a bold, heroic act and a natural response to the crimes of the occupation and terrorism against the Palestinian people."

One of the serious casualties, two of the moderate casualties and three of the light casualties were evacuated to Sheba Medical Center at Tel Hashomer. Meanwhile, two people in serious condition, two in moderate condition, and two in light condition, were evacuated to Tel Aviv's Ichilov Hospital. Two people were also being treated there for shock. 

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RIGHT: Further treatment for one of the seriously injured. PIC supplied by MDA Israel

Dr. Rafi Strugo, medical director of Magen David Adom services, said the wounded had "deep stab wounds and bleeding, especially in the chest, back and neck."

He added that they were scattered within a radius of about 50 meters from the bus. "Those who were capable of running fled after being stabbed."

"When I got to Yitzhak Sadeh St., civilians signaled for me to stop and led me to a nearby parking lot," Magen David Adom emergency responder Yiftah Levy said.

"When I arrived, I saw a woman of about 60-years-old lying in pain on the ground, suffering from stab wounds to the chest and back - she had been on the bus. When she noticed she was injured, she ran about a kilometer before collapsing on Yitzhak Sadeh Street, where we gave her medical treatment. She was evacuated to Tel Hashomer in moderate-but-stable condition." 

Serendipity may have saved many more

The Israel Prison Service officer who stopped the assailant was in the area by chance, on the way to a nearby court. "We were on an escort mission to [a nearby] courthouse and identified a large gathering of people crying out for help on Ma'ariv Bridge," Benny Botroshveli of the Israel Prison Services' Nachson Unit said.

When they realized it was a terror attack, he said, "Me and my team of three others identified the terrorist and chased after him. The terrorist collapsed after we shot at his legs. We then shackled him and awaited the arrival of police officers."

EARLIER SAJR REPORT

The latest news is that 13 of the injured required evacuation. Others were treated on the scene. The alleged terrorist was wounded by police and evacuated to hospital as well. Four commuters suffering from symptoms of stress are also being treated.

No Deaths have been reported although early reports indicated that some of the injured were in critical condition.

Jewish Report Online will keep users updated with regular posts throughout the day.

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