TEL AVIV (Jan. 18)
The Gaza-based Islamic Jihad movement has claimed responsibility for a stabbing attack in Tel Aviv last Friday in which four people were injured and the assailant was shot dead.
The attacker, identified by police as Fachri Dachduch of Gaza, rampaged through Tel Aviv’s central bus station early Friday morning before being shot by a Civil Guard volunteer working in the neighborhood.
Dachduch died from the gunshot wounds after being taken into custody by police.
He was carrying verses from the Koran and Islamic Jihad pamphlets, in addition to two butcher’s knives and one smaller knife that were used in the stabbing attack.
An Islamic Jihad spokesman announced the attack was in retaliation for Israel’s expulsion last month of over 400 Palestinians to Lebanon.
Police Cmdr. Yehuda Wilk said Dachduch was in Israel proper illegally since he did not possess the required permits, but added that the Gaza resident had no previous record of violence.
Dachduch began his rampage shortly after 6 a.m. Friday, when he stabbed a pedestrian on Har Zion Street, shouting “Allahu akhbar” (God is great). He then ran into a cafe, where he stabbed two customers in their backs and continued down the street, stabbing a fourth man in the back.
Witness Arye Zehavian, who owns a store in the bus station neighborhood, told police he heard screaming and saw a man running along the street, brandishing a big knife.
“I told my assistant, Gil Dvir, a Civil Guard volunteer, to get his licenced gun and shoot him,” Zehavian said.
Dvir, 22, who ran after the assailant, described the incident later: “I let loose several shots at his legs. Two of them hit him in the leg and chest, and he staggered a few paces before collapsing.”
The injured victims were identified as Vladimir Kuperschmidt, 24, a new immigrant from Russia, who was seriously injured but in stable condition; Mahmoud Hassan Ali, 63, a Lebanese citizen with permission to work in Israel, who was stabbed in the back; Leon Gershon, 50, a resident of Or Yehuda, who sustained moderate injuries from a stab wound in his back; and Jerzy Hadjuk, 33, a Polish citizen who had worked in Israel for two years, who was lightly wounded.