Daily Israel Report

One Dead in Suspected Terrorist Traffic Crash

Police suspect an Arab truck driver purposely rammed into several cars in Tel Aviv Sunday morning, killing one person on “Nakba Day.”
By Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu
First Publish: 5/15/2011, 10:31 AM / Last Update: 5/15/2011, 10:29 AM

Flash 90/Yossi Zeliger

Police suspect an Arab truck driver purposely rammed into several cars in Tel Aviv Sunday morning, killing one person on “Nakba Day.” At least 17 others were injured. The casualty was identified as 29-year-old Aviv Morag.

The truck smashed into two motorcyclists and a bus. The driver reportedly was cursing in Arabic as he fled the scene. Police have arrested him and are questioning him.

Police have rejected the driver’ claim that he lost control of his truck after a tire blew out and they said that terrorism is suspected. Eyewitnesses said that the 22-year-old driver, a resident of the village of Kfar Kassem, seemed determined to crash into the cars.

It was reported on Israel Radio 2 that the driver had a large number of traffic violations but no criminal record.

The truck continued to travel more than 2,000 feet before stopping, another indication that he intended to kill Jews on “Nakba Day", the Arab term for the “catastrophe” of the re-establishment of the Jewish State on May 15, 1948, Israeli Independence Day.

One eyewitness told IDF Army Radio that his vehicle was hit by the impact of the crash and that “the driver was in a fit of madness.”

He added, "I heard the crashing of cars until my car also was hit. It seems like a terrorist attack to me.”

According to reports the truck stopped at the gates of a school, frightening school children, but proceeded on when it could not gain entry.