Police report the assailant already admitted he planned the terror attack
According to initial reports from the police, at about 1:40AM Monday morning, a young Palestinian man from Nablus, West Bank, carried out a terror attack when he car-jacked a taxi cab and used it to run over several border police manning a checkpoint next to a nightclub in south Tel Aviv (two blocks away from my home), where thousands had reportedly gathered for a big end of summer bash. He then got out of the car and began stabbing people waiting to enter the club, while shouting “Allah HuAkbar” (“God is great” in Arabic), before being apprehended. One person is reportedly in serious condition.
According to Ynetnews, the police have ruled out the possibility of a criminal hit and run attack because they already questioned the assailant, who admits to planning the attack, and further rationalized that no one would commit such an act at that time of night.
The cab driver whose taxi was stolen reported that he picked up the assailant in Jaffa and drove him to the central bus station, where he was stabbed in the hand and thrown out of the car. The police claim the assailant had been in Tel Aviv for at least a full day preparing for the attack.
This is the second terror attack in as many weeks on Israeli civilians, not including the rockets that have been fired from Gaza into southern Israel more or less unabated during this period. When such attacks occur, it reminds me that life here is not normal and that what seems like relatively tranquil times are in fact just brief ebbs in what is a constant state of war. And indeed, Israel is in a constant state of war where it is both victim and perpetrator, and where the origin of attacks is nearly impossible to locate.
In such a state of war, one can argue that attacking soldiers or other figures directly involved in committing the attacks on either side, whether they be called “soldiers,” “guards,” “militants,” “freedom fighters,” “terrorists” or any other term, is a legitimate act of war. Some may therefore argue that targeting border police is a legitimate act of war – but what is certain is that attacking high schoolers going out to party is certainly not.