Early Monday morning eight people were injured in south Tel Aviv, when a 20 year old man from Nablus in the West Bank, hijacked a taxi and rammed it into a police road block protecting a Tel Aviv nightclub, he then exited the vehicle and stabbed additional people screaming “Allah Akbar” [god is great]. The suspect was tackled to the ground by Border Police officers and taken into custody.
Tel Aviv District Commander Aharon Eksol said the attack was “definitely an act of terror”. Israel Radio reported that the attack was coordinated to target a large youth party being held in the nightclub.
The attack took place shortly after 1.30am outside the Ha-oman 17 club, which had more than 2,000 people inside the nightclub.
Of the injured, five were Border Police officers and one was a security guard. One person was seriously injured, while two recieved moderate wounds and the remainder were lightly injured. A police source said that the road block had prevented a far worse outcome.
The Jerusalem Post reported that Police Inspector General Yochanan Danino said the Border Police preparations “were extraordinary and prevented a big disaster.”
Yaakov Lappin and Etgar Lefkovits of the Jerusalem Post note that the terrorist tactic of ‘ramming’ vehicles into people is an increasing trend, and the attack overnight the fifth of its kind in past three years. They write that today’s terrorist attack was similar to the “Nakba Day” attack, when an Arab man rammed his truck into several vehicles and killed one man and injured 17 others in south Tel Aviv. They also note that it is reminiscent of the “Jerusalem bulldozer attacks” the first of which occured on 2 July 2008 when terrorist Husam Taysir Dwayat carried out a bulldozer rampage on Jaffa Road in Jerusalem, killing three people and wounded dozens before he was killed.