(JTA) — A 29-year-old American business school student was killed in a stabbing attack in the Jaffa area of Tel Aviv.
Taylor Force, a student at the Vanderbilt University Owen Graduate School of Management, was on a school trip to Israel when he was killed Tuesday evening, the university said. As many as 10 people were wounded in the attack — including Force’s wife seriously — at and near the Jaffa Port, Ynet reported.
Force and other Owen school students had gone to Israel to learn about the high-tech industry there. No one else on the trip was hurt, the university said.
“This horrific act of violence has robbed our Vanderbilt family of a young hopeful life and all of the bright promise that he held for bettering our greater world,” said Vanderbilt Chancellor Nick Zeppos in an email to students, faculty and staff.
Force was a U.S. army veteran who served in Iraq and Afghanistan according to his LinkedIn profile and an article published on a business school review website. He graduated from West Point Military Academy in 2009 and served as a field artillery officer from 2009-2014 at Fort Hood.
The Jaffa attack came less than two hours after terror attacks in Jerusalem and central Israel left a haredi Orthodox man and two Israeli Border Police officers seriously injured.
Four of the injured are reported to be in serious condition and four others in moderate condition, according to Israel’s Channel 2. The attack lasted about 20 minutes in three locations.
Police said the assailant was “neutralized.” He was later identified by the Palestinian Maan news agency and then by police as a 22-year-old man from the Palestinian city of Qalqilya in the northern West Bank. Haaretz named him as Bashar Masalha.
At the time of the attack, U.S. Vice President Joe Biden was less than 2 miles away meeting with former Israeli President Shimon Peres at the Peres Center for Peace. He is in Israel on a two-day trip.
At the entrance to the Jaffa port, the assailant stabbed two people before running up the promenade, including to near the Dolphinarium Club, according to reports. The port is a popular seaside shopping and dining center for Israelis and tourists in Jaffa, the predominately Arab area of south Tel Aviv.
The Tel Aviv-Jaffa municipality vowed to step up security in the wake of the attack.