Nationalist Motivation Suspected in Tel Aviv Stabbing Incident

Police now believe the Arab who stabbed three Israelis in northern Tel Aviv on Tuesday, killing one of them, may have been a “lone, suicide terrorist, acting for nationalistic reasons.”

This is contrary to initial police reports, which said the assailant had simply run amok.

The man stabbed to death has been identified as Dr. Kurt Moshe Shelinger, 74, of Tel Aviv, an agronomist and expert in irrigation. He was buried Wednesday in Tel Aviv’s Kiryat Shaul cemetery, with the cortege leaving from the Volcani Agricultural Research Institute near Rehovot, where he had worked.

The two bystanders wounded in the incident were identified as Amnon Strelitz, 26, of Tel Aviv, and Meir Fishbein, 27, of Haifa.

Both received moderate injuries and were reported by Ichilov Hospital to be recovering satisfactorily from surgery performed after their admission Tuesday.

The assailant has been identified as Liad Rahman Mahmoud Zakuti, 29, of the Jabalya refugee camp in Gaza.

He, too, underwent surgery, for gunshot wounds. Police fired at the man after he tried to stab them on the roof of a building on Bin-Nun Street.

Police say Zakuti is refusing to cooperate with investigators. But he is known to them and has a criminal record for property offenses.

He does not appear to be affiliated with any particular terrorist organization, even though his shouts of “Allah akhbar” (God is great) point to support for a Shiite fundamentalist group, such as the Islamic Jihad movement.

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