TEL AVIV (Dec. 18)
Police are holding a 30-year-old former mental patient for the attempted murder of Uri Avneri, a former Knesset member and editor of the weekly Haolam Hazeh. Avneri was rushed to the hospital with multiple stab wounds allegedly inflicted by the suspect outside his home shortly before noon today. He was reportedly stabbed in the face, chest, stomach and legs and was undergoing surgery. The latest report from the hospital said his condition was not serious.
Although Avneri is a bitterly controversial political figure because of his advocacy of Israeli negotiations with the Palestine Liberation Organization, police said the assault on him had no political motivation. The suspect, whose name was not immediately disclosed, is the same man who tried to kill Avneri two years ago. At that time he was not prosecuted but sent to a mental institution from which he was subsequently released. According to the police, the suspect claimed at the time that Avneri was about to publish an article in Haolam Hazeh labeling him a spy.