(JTA) – An Arab-Israeli man was stabbed several times in the neck by a Palestinian assailant in the central Israel city of Petach Tikvah.
The 32-year-old victim in the Monday morning attack was taken to a local hospital with moderate wounds, Israel Police said. He is an Egged bus driver who was on a break getting a cup of coffee.
Civilian bystanders stopped the attacker, 21, from the West Bank Palestinian city of Qalqilya and in Israel illegally, while he was fleeing the scene and wrestled him to the ground, according to the Israel Police. He was arrested and taken for questioning.
The attacker, who has not been named, was previously jailed in Israel for activity against the state, The Times of Israel reported, citing the Israel Security Agency, or Shin Bet. Israel Police said they are treating the incident as a nationalistic attack on an Israeli target.
The Palestinian assailant told investigators that “I did it for Al Aqsa,” according to reports, referring to the mosque on the Temple Mount, or what the Muslims call Haram al Sharif.
There have been several terror attacks by Palestinians and Arabs against Israeli targets since the July 14 attack on the Temple Mount that left two Druze-Israeli security guards dead and led to the installation of metal detectors at Muslim entrances to the holy site. Muslims have been killed in clashes with Israeli police over the installation of the security devices.