Three people were killed and four more wounded in a stabbing attack at three separate locations in and around the Israeli city of Ariel in Samaria Tuesday morning.
IDF paramedics, along with MDA and United Hatzalah personnel, treated the victims at the scene before evacuating them to Beilinson Medical Center in Petah Tikva via ambulance.
One of the victims, a man in his forties, was critically wounded and later succumbed to his wounds. A second man of approximately the same age who was wounded at the gas station, was initially listed in serious condition, and also succumbed to his wounds.
A third victim, who is in his thirties, was also fatally wounded next to the 'Ten' gas station in Ariel.
Four others were wounded in the attack, and are all listed in critical or serious condition.
The attack occurred at two sites in the industrial zone of Ariel in central Samaria, when two Arab terrorists attacked Israelis at the entrance to the industrial zone, and at a gas station.
"At 9:28 a.m., MDA received a report to the 101 emergency call center's Yarkon branch regarding three people seriously wounded in a terror attack next to the 'Ten' gas station in the Ariel industrial zone. MDA paramedics are providing emergency care on the scene," MDA said in a statement.
The terrorist fled the scene, an army spokesperson said, but was located by IDF forces on westbound Route 5 near the town of Peduel, where he was shot and killed. While attempting to evade authorities, the terrorist caused an accident involving eight cars on Route 5.
"A terrorist arrived at the entrance gate of the Ariel Industrial Zone and stabbed civilians in the area," the IDF said in a statement Tuesday morning, noting that contrary to initial reports which claimed a second terrorist had been neutralized, security forces are still searching for a second suspected terrorist.
"Later on, the terrorist arrived at a nearby gas station and stabbed additional civilians. The terrorist fled the gas station by driving a stolen vehicle at route 5, committed an intended car accident and rammed an additional civilian."
"An IDF soldier who was at the scene neutralized him. IDF soldiers are searching the area for an additional individual suspected of assisting the terrorist."
United Hatzalah volunteer EMT Daniel Cohen, who was one of the first responders at the scene relayed: "When I arrived at the scene I found that the incident had transpired in two different locations. Overall, there are four people who were wounded, three of whom are in serious condition. Together with other EMS personnel, I provided emergency medical treatment to the injured at both scenes prior to their being transported to the hospital."
MDA paramedics Elad Polak and Neria Ketoa who treated the wounded in Ariel said: "A 36-year-old man was lying near the security room suffering from a stab wound in his upper body, he was conscious and communicating with us. We immediately provided medical treatment that included stopping the bleeding and dressings, we moved him to the Mobile Intensive Care Unit (MICU) and we evacuated him to the hospital in moderate condition. Another injured person in a critical condition who was unconscious was treated by an IDF medical force and after resuscitation operations he was pronounced dead."
MDA paramedic Tomer Fein and MDA EMT Anatoly Firer said: "Next to the pumps at the gas station were 2 wounded people who suffered from stab wounds. A 35-year-old man was unconscious, without a pulse and not breathing, and after medical examinations an MDA paramedic pronounced him dead. The second victim, a man of about 40 years old, was unconscious, we gave him life-saving medical treatment that included giving him drugs and plasma in order to stabilize his condition and evacuated him to the hospital in serious condition where he was sedated and ventilated."
MDA EMT Odelia Shahaf who was an eyewitness to the attack on Route 5 said: "I was on the road and noticed what looked like a car accident. I saw a wounded man lying on the road and immediately went over to him and while I started treating him I heard shouts of 'terrorist terrorist' and saw a man running with a knife in our direction. We started to run away and people pulled out guns. He managed to stab a 35-year-old man before he was injured. I approached the wounded man who was severely stabbed and stopped his bleeding and very quickly a large number of extra MDA team arrived on the scene and treated the injured."
MDA EMT Roi Oz and MDA Senior EMT Achiad Slutsky, who evacuated the injured man on Route 5 to the hospital, said: "A 35-year-old man was lying on the road while fully conscious and suffering from stab wounds. While being treated, he told us that he struggled with the terrorist and pushed him away Seconds before the terrorist was eliminated. We gave him life-saving medical treatment and evacuated him to the hospital in serious and stable condition where the doctors continue the medical treatment. At the scene of the incident, a 50-year-old man who was injured in an accident as a result of the attack was pronounced dead."
Media outlets in the Palestinian Authority identified the terrorist as a 19-year-old resident of the town of Hares, near Ariel. He is reportedly aligned with the Fatah terrorist organization, a faction within the PLO and the ruling party in the Palestinian Authority.
The terrorist had been issued a work pass granting him entry into Ariel.
"Israeli citizens awoke to a painful and difficult morning," Prime Minister Yair Lapid said. "A despicable terrorist carried out a terrible terrorist attack in Ariel. On behalf of the Israeli government and the State of Israel, I send my condolences to the families of the murdered, and wish a speedy recovery to the wounded."
"We are fighting relentlessly against terrorist with the full force of the IDF, the Shin Bet, and all the other security agencies. We managed recently to dismantle the broader terrorist infrastructure, but we must wage this war anew every day. Our security forces are working around the clock to protect Israeli citizens and to destroy the terrorist infrastructure everywhere, all the time."
European Union Ambassador to Israel Dimiter Tzantchev tweeted: "Sad morning as at least 3 Israelis were killed, and others wounded, by a despicable ramming and stabbing attack outside Ariel. I condemn all acts of violence unreservedly. Condolences to the families of the deceased and wishes for a speedy recovery of those injured."