SEVEN PEOPLE WERE injured, three seriously, near a Tel Aviv nightclub in the early hours of Monday morning after a man hijacked a taxi, drove to a police checkpoint and began to stab passers-by, according to Israeli police.
There has been a flare in violence in the region recently, coming just weeks before Palestinians are expected to ask the United Nations to recognise an independent Palestinian state in east Jerusalem, the West Bank and Gaza Strip. The Palestinians have adopted that route because vast gaps with the government of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu have stymied negotiations for more than two years, according to the AP.
The attacker in Tel Aviv was a Palestinian in his twenties from the city of Nablus, according to Israeli police spokeswoman Luba Samri. Al Jazeera reports that Israeli police are treating the incident as a terror attack.
Just before 2 am, the man stole a taxi in south Tel Aviv and then drove into a police checkpoint securing the street near the popular “Haoman 17″ nightclub, she said. The Jerusalem Post reports that the nightclub was mostly filled with teenagers celebrating an end-of-summer party at the time.
He then got out of the car and stabbed passers-by, she said. The wounded included four policemen and three civilians, Samri said.
The attacker, who was also injured, was arrested and taken to hospital.
Such attacks inside Israel, once common, have fallen off in recent years as Israeli and Palestinian forces have restored security in the adjacent Palestinian territory of the West Bank. But some violence has continued, with one Israeli killed in a similar attack with a vehicle in Tel Aviv in May.
Additional reporting by the AP