UPDATED: Israeli Soldier Dies After Tel Aviv Terror Attack; Twin Brother Tells Gov’t ‘Wake Up!’ (PHOTOS/VIDEO, GRAPHIC)
With reporting by Tazpit News Agency
IDF soldier, Sgt. Almog Shiloni, 20, died of wounds sustained in a terror stabbing attack on Monday morning in Tel Aviv, according to the Israel Police.
Police apprehended the Palestinian suspect, a Nablus resident, shortly afterwards and said the assailant attempted to steal Shiloni’s gun, but failed.
The stabbing took place at the city’s southern HaHaganah train station on Levinsky Street.
Shiloni received first aid at the scene, and was then transported to nearby Tel Hashomer Hospital. A man in his 50s chased down the attacker, and was wounded in the process.
Shiloni sustained “numerous stabbing wounds, too many to count,” Magen David Adom paramedic Nachum Bernstein told the Tatzpit News Agency.
Bernstein was among the first on the scene, and provided first aid to the soldier before the victim was evacuated to the hospital.
“To the government, we say: ‘wake up!'” Shiloni’s twin brother, Sahar said, according to Israel’s Maariv.
“Your soldiers are defending the country, and see what’s going on here. My family is all soldiers – we can’t watch the blood that is being spilled here. What is happening in this country is catastrophic; terrifying,” Sahar said.
“He was my twin brother, my soul, I hope he comes out of it,” Sahar said before his brother died.
“He’s a person that helps everyone, everyone – he’s outstanding; I just want to know what’s happening to him,” Sahar said.
The suspect, Nur al-Din, 18, is a resident of the Askar refugee camp, and was in Israel illegally, according to police.
Palestinian sources said al-Din was a Hamas member, Israel Radio said.
Bernstein described how al-Din was able to break away from those who tried to immediately apprehend him at the scene, and was captured by the police further down the street. Bernstein also administered first aid to al-Din, who sustained minor injuries after struggling with the pedestrians and police, and is now being questioned by authorities.
A crowd of furious pedestrians heckled Interior Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovitch, as he arrived at the scene of the attack a short time later for a police briefing.
“Our blood is not cheap,” angry residents shouted at Aharonovitch. “Go comfort mourners at the terrorists’ homes!” one woman shouted at him as he walked by.
“Death to terrorists,” several dozen passersby began shouting at the minister, outside the entrance to the heavily-trafficked train station.
“The leftists are responsible for all this. They’re the ones shedding our blood; our blood is not cheap,” one man shouted at the minister, who did not respond, according to Israel’s Ch. 2 News.
Police and security guards kept the crowds away from the minister as he received a briefing from senior police officials.
Tel Aviv District Commander Benzi Sau said at the scene, that, “a soldier was attacked by a member of a minority who lives in Nablus. He stabbed him with a knife several times.”
Sau stressed that “bystanders came to the aid of the soldier and called the police.
“The terrorist escaped and was caught just 200 meters away, and was identified by the police, who conducted a search of the four-story building. The police spotted the terrorist on the top floor and arrested him.”
Economy Minister, Naftali Bennett said in comment, “This is a terrible terror attack which proves that the concept of hiding behind barriers is bankrupt.”
“It is not possible to barricade people in the streets, but rather we must put those responsible for incitement, fireworks and the rioters in jail. This is correct security policy” said Bennett, who opposed the emplacement of large concrete blocks at bus and train stations in Jerusalem in the wake of two vehicular ramming attacks in recent weeks.
Finance Minister Yair Lapid, in comment, called on the public to exercise restraint in the face of the terror wave.
“We stand with our security forces and we call upon all of Israel’s citizens to let the IDF, Shin Bet and police force do their jobs,” he said at the opening of a Yesh Atid Party faction session, according to his office.
Lapid cautioned that “There is no place for calls for revenge in a country which values life just as there is no place for chants of ‘Death to the Arabs.’ Instead of strengthening us at this difficult time, it weakens us.”
Lapid said he “spoke with leaders from the Arab sector yesterday about the need to restore quiet to Israel’s streets,” and called upon “politicians, including ministers, to stop their irresponsible behavior and rhetoric, and to help the police and Shin Bet reduce the flames.”
Watch a video clip of the angry crowd at the scene of the attack: