At Least One Killed, 13 Wounded in Series of Terror Attacks Across Israel

At least one person was killed and 13 others injured in a series of terror attacks across Israel on Tuesday.

One person was killed and 10 others were wounded in Jaffa when a knife-wielding man, reported to be a 22-year-old Palestinian from the West Bank city of Qalqilya, started stabbing pedestrians. He also attacked motorists as he ran through traffic before being fatally shot by police. The dead victim was identified as Taylor Force, an American citizen and U.S. army veteran who was a graduate student at Vanderbilt University. He and his wife, who was severely injured in the attack, were in Israel on a school trip.

“Taylor embarked on this trip to expand his understanding of global entrepreneurship and also to share his insights and knowledge with start-ups in Israel,” the university said in a statement. “He exemplified the spirit of discovery, learning and service that is the hallmark of our wonderful Owen community. 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.”

The incident took place not far from the Peres Center for Peace, where Vice President Joe Biden, who is on a two-day visit to Israel, pledged that the United States would have a “total, unvarnished commitment to the security of Israel.”

“I was sitting down playing guitar and I heard screaming from across the street,” said Yishai Montogomery, who was sitting by the beach in Jaffa when the attack began. “I saw a man run at me with a knife, I ran at him with the guitar and smashed it in his head. He was so stunned and didn’t know what to do with himself and then started running away.”

Authorities say the attacker fled towards the beach and began stabbing passersby until he was killed.

Dr. Debra West of Tel Aviv’s Sourasky Medical Center told The Tower that the hospital had received six of the victims: four men and two women, one of whom was pregnant. Two of the victims are in a critical condition, two in a moderate condition, and two only lightly wounded.

An assailant stabbed a Haredi man in Petah Tikva after following him into a store. After a struggle, the victim pulled the knife out of his own neck and stabbed the attacker, killing him. The victim is reported to be in moderate condition.

Minutes later, two border policemen were wounded near Jerusalem’s Damascus Gate. The first officer was shot by an assailant on a motorcycle. Police pursued the suspect, who wounded a second policeman during a shootout. The terrorist was shot dead. The two policemen have been taken to the Hadassah Hospital in Ein Kerem. One reportedly has life-threatening injuries, while the other is in stable condition.

Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri praised the attacks, saying that the Iran-backed terror group “congratulates the three heroic operations this evening, in Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, and Jaffa, and considers this proof of the failure for all these theories to abort the Intifada, which will continue until the realization of its goals. Hamas celebrates the martyrs that have ascended through these operations, and confirms that their pure blood will, God willing, be the fuel for escalating the Intifada.”

Before today, the Magen David Adom emergency medical service reported that 33 people have been killed and 377 people injured in terror attacks since September. The attacks included nearly 200 stabbings attacks, 79 shootings, and 40 vehicular attacks.

[Photo: Tomer Neuberg / Flash90 ]