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Israeli soldier critical after ‘Palestinian stabbing,’ say police

One of the paramedics who was first on the scene said his body was covered with stab wounds

Published: Updated:

A young Israeli soldier was critically wounded in a stabbing at a Tel Aviv train station Monday, with police saying the attacker was a Palestinian from the West Bank.

Emergency services spokesman Zaki Heller said a man of about 20 was "very seriously hurt" in the attack outside HaHagana station where footage from the scene showed medics trying to revive a man lying in the road in pools of blood.

One of the paramedics who was first on the scene said his body was covered with stab wounds.

Police spokeswoman Luba Samri said the victim was an Israeli soldier and the attack was carried out by a Palestinian from the Nablus area in the northern West Bank.

She said the stabbing appeared to be politically motivated.

"It was apparently an attack with nationalist motives. The suspect is a resident of the Nablus area," she said, adding that he had been arrested in a nearby apartment building where he had holed up.

According to a passer-by called Kobi who witnessed the incident, the attacker was a large man in a red shirt.

"I got to HaHagana bridge with a friend and we saw a big man in a red sweatshirt stabbing a soldier twice, apparently someone from the air force," he told public radio.

"I stopped the car and we started to run after him, shouting 'terrorist, terrorist'."

He said he had then returned to help the soldier, who was clearly very badly wounded.

"He was conscious but his situation deteriorated very quickly," he told the radio.

The attack came as Israel struggles to contain a growing wave of violence in annexed east Jerusalem which spread to Arab towns and villages in Israel at the weekend after police shot dead a young Arab-Israeli.