YERUSHALAYIM - Police have confirmed that a stabbing in a supermarket in Yavneh on Wednesday morning was in fact a terror attack.
The 42-year-old Jewish man, an employee, who sustained multiple stab wounds in the crowded Shufersal branch, was reported in critical condition in Kaplan Medical Center in Rehovot as of evening.
Dr. Doron Schindel, the chief of the Head and Neck Surgery Unit said:
“The patient arrived at the emergency room with multiple stab wounds in the neck and upper body and also in the back. He was bleeding from many wounds when he arrived. Initial efforts were made to stabilize him in the emergency room, and then he was taken to the operating room where they continued to work to stop the bleeding and to close the affected organs,” Dr. Schindel said, as quoted by Arutz Sheva.
Following surgery, he was reportedly unconscious and hooked up to a ventilator.
The terrorist was identified as Ismail Ibrahim Ismail Abu Aram, 19, from the village of Yatta, near Chevron.
Police said he entered a Shufersal grocery store on Sanhedrin Street in Yavneh at around noon and stabbed an employee several times before attempting to flee the scene. According to the Shin Bet, Abu Aram entered Israel illegally, but was not known to security services.
Footage of the incident shows the Arab jumping on the victim and stabbing him in his upper body. Customers and workers are then seen pulling the attacker off the victim, punching and pummeling him. Large numbers of police arrived a few minutes after the incident.
In the video, the stabber can be seen walking into the supermarket, then grabbing a knife which he had concealed under his shirt. He ran towards a supermarket worker who happened to be standing near him, and stabbed his victim several times, despite the worker’s attempts to defend himself.
“The Palestinian suspect came to a supermarket packed with people, and began stabbing the victim,” said police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld.
“We know there was no preexisting relationship between the two whatsoever, so we confirmed it was a terrorist attack. The suspect is still being questioned and the area has been cordoned off as police continue their investigation.”
United Hatzalah paramedic Netanel Moyal said he treated the victim, as well as several witnesses for shock.
“I rushed over to the scene and treated the individual suffering from stab wounds to his upper body,” said Moyal. “While I was treating him, other volunteer EMS personnel joined me and he was taken by ambulance to Kaplan Medical Center in Rehovot.”
A Shufersal representative said the company has been in continuous contact with the family of the worker who was stabbed and the hospital.
Following the stabbing attack, IDF forces cordoned off Yatta and raided the home of the terrorist.
An IDF spokesperson said there had so far been no arrests, but they were “conducting searches” in the house and questioning family members.
In the afternoon, at Gush Etzion Junction, army units assigned to guard the area spotted a suspicious Palestinian woman approaching them. As they prepared to make a security check, the terrorist tossed away a knife she was carrying with her. The soldiers took her into custody for questioning.
Meanwhile, a 29-year-old Arab from Shechem was indicted Wednesday in the murder of an Israeli woman, Michal Chalimi, who went missing on May 28th. Chalimi was a resident of the town of Geva Binyamin, outside Yerushalayim. A wide-ranging search was conducted after she went missing, and she was found dead a week later near Holon. The suspect, Muhammad Charouf, told reporters Wednesday that he had murdered Chalimi in order to prompt Israel to release Arab terrorists in Israeli prisons, but police sources said that under questioning, Charouf had not mentioned that as a motive.
Overnight Tuesday, security forces arrested 13 Palestinians in several towns in Yehudah and Shomron who were wanted for involvement in terrorist activities and violent disturbances.