Palestinian behind Tel Aviv stabbing motivated by Operation Protective Edge
Israeli forensics examine the scene of an attack after Hamza Muhammad Hasan Matro, age 23, stabbed at least five people on a Tel Aviv bus on January 21, 2015. (AFP/Jack Guez)
The attacker who stabbed and ainjured several Israelis on a bus in Tel Aviv on Wednesdaymorning has been identified as Hamza Muhammad Hasan Matrouk, the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) announced.
The 23-year-old Matrouk left his home in Tulkarm refugee camp in the northern West Bank on Wednesday morning and entered Israel in order to carry out the attack, the Shin Bet stated.
Matrouk, who is in Israeli custody after having been shot in the leg by Israel Prison Service officers who happened to be at the scene of the attack, had no prior arrests.
According to the Shin Bet, Matrouk admitted to illegally entering Israel and carrying out the attack with a knife he purchased in Tulkarem.
He further told his Shin Bet interrogators that his attack was motivated by Operation Protective Edge, the religious tension at the Temple Mount and extremist Islamist television programs. Matrouk hoped to make it to heaven by carrying out the terror attack.
He was remanded to custody after receiving medical treatment for his gunshot wound.
Palestinian Ma'an News Agency quoted residents of the Tulkarm refugee camp as saying Matrouk was not affiliated with any political faction.
"Last night Hamza and I hung out with friends in the camp until 11 p.m. and we had fun," Ma'an quoted a friend of the suspect as saying. "He was laughing and kidding and I know very well that he isn't affiliated to any faction."
- Nine Israelis stabbed by Palestinian in Tel Aviv bus attack
- Israel intercepts rockets fired at Tel Aviv as Gaza air strikes continue
- Netanyahu: Gaza op continues and will take time, Hamas won't wear us down
- VIDEO: Israeli officers interrogate 13-year-old Palestinian stabbing suspect
- Hamas gives advance notice of imminent attack on Tel Aviv