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Palestinian detained after attack injures 4 in Tel Aviv

April 23, 2017 3:25 P.M. (Updated: April 24, 2017 10:43 A.M.)
BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) -- An 18-year-old Palestinian man was detained after he assaulted four people in an alleged stab attack in the Israeli city of Tel Aviv on Sunday afternoon, Israeli police reported.

Israeli police spokeswoman Luba al-Samri said in a statement that an assailant stabbed and lightly injured three Israelis in their fifties, two men and a woman, in the area of Yarkon Park near the coast in Tel Aviv.

Al-Samri said that a fourth Israeli in their 70s was also attacked, falling on the ground without being stabbed, and was being treated for minor injuries.

Footage shared by Israeli media showed that the attack occurred in the lobby of a hotel, before the assailant was presumably stopped outside.

Al-Samri identified the suspect as an 18-year-old Palestinian from the northern occupied West Bank district of Nablus.

Israeli police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld meanwhile said that an investigation was under way, and that police had determined that the motives behind the stabbing were "terror related."

Ichilov Medical Center spokesman Avi Shushan told Ma'an that all four patients were "very lightly" wounded, and were expected to be released from the hospital later Sunday.

Israeli news outlet Arutz Sheva reported later on Sunday that the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT), the Israeli agency responsible for implementing Israeli policies in the occupied Palestinian territory, had ordered a freeze in permits given to pro-Palestinian organizations to travel to Israel pending the end of the investigation, following reports that the young Palestinian had been given a one-day permit at the request of one such organization.

The frequency of alleged and actual small-scale stabbing attacks by Palestinians peaked during a wave of violence in the fall of 2015. While Israeli officials have routinely claimed that Palestinian attacks are part of a international rise in Islamist extremism, many Palestinians have instead pointed chiefly to the frustration and despair brought on by Israel's decades-long military occupation of the Palestinian territory and the absence of a political horizon.
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