JERUSALEM (JTA) — An 18-year-old Israeli soldier was stabbed to death on a bus in northern Israel by a Palestinian teenager.
Police are calling the Wednesday morning incident in Afula a terrorist attack.
The soldier was stabbed several times in the neck on a bus traveling from Nazareth to Tel Aviv. He was rushed to a nearby hospital, where he reportedly died during surgery.
He was identified as Pvt. Eden Atias of Nazareth-Illit who was returning to his base and reportedly was asleep at the time of the attack.
Police said the assailant, a 16-year-old male from Jenin, did not have a permit to work or reside in Israel, the Times of Israel reported.
Haaretz reported that the stabber’s brothers are known to Israeli security officials and have been connected to terrorist activity. The attacker’s uncles are in prison in Israel, Army Radio reported.
The attack comes a day before the one-year anniversary of Pillar of Defense, an Israeli operation in Gaza launched to stop rocket strikes on southern Israel.
Last month, a Palestinian on a bus near Jerusalem threatened riders with a knife before cutting off a sidelock of a passenger and fleeing.