Rabbi Killed in Stabbing Attack in Central Israel, Palestinian Arrested

Rabbi Stabbed, Killed
Israeli rescue workers clean the scene of a stabbing attack in the Israeli central city of Petah Tikvah, Wednesday, Aug. 26, 2020 (Photo: SEBASTIAN SCHEINER/AP)

A Palestinian from the occupied West Bank fatally stabbed an Israeli rabbi on a street in the central Israeli city of Petah Tikva on Wednesday, police said.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu conveyed on Twitter his condolences to the family of Rabbi Shai Ohayon, 39, and said Israel would move to demolish the assailant’s home after “the terrorist stabbing attack.”

Police said in a statement that a 46-year-old Palestinian from the West Bank city of Nablus carried out the stabbing in Petah Tikva, a city adjacent to Tel Aviv, and that investigators suspected it stemmed from “nationalist” motives.

YNet News website said the alleged attacker, who was arrested after passersby chased him down, had a history of mental health problems, held an Israeli work permit and was not affiliated with any Palestinian militant group.

Israeli officials have said attacks by Palestinians allowed to work in Israel have been rare.

In waves of Palestinian stabbings, shootings and car rammings in Israel and the West Bank in recent years, most assailants have been young men who were not among the tens of thousands of Palestinians who work in Israeli factories or building sites after being vetted by security authorities.