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Suspect in Stabbing Attack That Wounded Four Arrested After Manhunt in Israel

A 13-year-old girl was one of four people injured in the latest stabbing incident in Israel. An Arab man was also hospitalized after he was reportedly mistaken for the assailant and beaten.

by VICE News
Nov 21 2015, 9:50pm

Photo by Abed al Hashlamoun/EPA

Four Israelis — including a 13-year-old girl — were stabbed and wounded in Kiryat Gat, a town about 30 miles south of Tel Aviv on Saturday. Israeli police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld described the incident as a "confirmed terrorist attack."

One of the assailants immediately fled the scene, prompting a manhunt by Israeli police. Rosenfeld said the suspect "was captured with knife after police units searched the city for hours."

According to the Jerusalem Post, an Arab man from the Bedouin village of Seger Shalom was hospitalized with mild injuries. He was reportedly mistaken for the assailant and beaten by a crowd of angry locals.

Related: Facebook Is Being Sued by 20,000 Israelis for Inciting Palestinian Terror

Police spokeswoman Luba Samri said that the stabbing on Saturday appeared to be "ideologically driven" rather than criminal, the Associated Press reported.

The incident appears to be part of the most recent wave of violence and unrest between Israelis and Palestinians, sparked by a dispute over the al-Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem. The unrest has since fanned out across Israel, the West Bank, and the Gaza border.

Watch the VICE News dispatch The Heart of the Conflict: Intifada 3.0:

Many recent attacks carried out by Palestinians against Israelis since the beginning of October have been stabbings. On October 8, a Palestinian stabbed an Israeli soldier and attempted to snatch his gun, also in Kiryat Gat, before he was shot by security forces.

Related: Israelis Are Buying a Ton of Guns Amid Current Violence

On Thursday, a Palestinian fatally stabbed two people while they were attending an afternoon prayer service in a Tel Aviv office building, while three others were killed that same day during an attack on the Israeli-occupied West Bank. The attacks brought the number of Israeli fatalities over the past seven weeks to 18. Reuters reported on Thursday that 80 Palestinians have also been killed in that same period.

The al-Aqsa mosque compound is one of the holiest sites in both Islam and Judaism. Known to Jews as Temple Mount and to Muslims as the Noble Sanctuary, it has long been a flashpoint for conflict. Frequent visits to the site by Israelis, many ultra-nationalist Jews, has become a source of concern for many Palestinians, who fear that the decades-old arrangement guaranteeing exclusive Muslim prayer is being threatened.

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Reuters contributed to this report.