An Arab handyman armed with a sharp tool began running wild and stabbing people on the fourth floor of an apartment building.
One man was seriously injured and three other people were lightly hurt. The stabber was shot and injured as well. The Israel Defense Forces began searching the area in an attempt to locate a possible partner. One suspect was arrested and taken in for questioning.
A neighbor told Ynet, "I sat in my apartment in the morning, when I suddenly heard shouting. Someone ran down the stairs and shouted in Arabic. I looked out of the window and saw someone escaping from the building.
"Downstairs he grasped a parent waiting for a ride with his children and began beating him, punching and kicking. He ran to the path near the building and stabbed a passerby in the neck and another one in the throat.
Scene of attack (Photo: Dudi Vaaknin)
Large Magen David Adom, army and police forces were dispatched to the area. A spontaneous demonstration was held in the area against the government and the mayor, citing lack of security.
Stabber: You closed our Gaza
An initial IDF investigation revealed that at around 8 am the laborer stabbed and seriously injured Aryeh Deutch, an Israeli contractor who was on the roof of the building. He then went downstairs, encountered a woman at the entrance to one of the houses and stabbed her. She was lightly injured, and the attacker went on to stab her husband before fleeing the area.
As he was escaping he stabbed another man, before being shot by an MDA paramedic. He was evacuated to a hospital and taken into surgery.
Aryeh Deutch's brother, Zvika, told Ynet, "My brother was on the fourth floor of the building we work in. The stabber was our work manager, and Aryeh has known him for four years. He is known to be a very religious man.
"As far as I know, they discussed the IDF operation as part of an argument they had yesterday, and he said, 'You closed our Gaza'."
Defense establishment officials estimated that as the IDF operation in Gaza progresses, Palestinians in the West Bank – as well as radical Israeli Arabs – would attempt to carry out revenge attacks.
On Saturday, a Border Guard officer was deliberately run over in an east Jerusalem neighborhood, in an incident which was believed to have been nationalistically motivated.
Mass demonstrations have been held in many Arab communities across the country in the past two days, in protest of the IDF operation. Protestors in the town of Umm al-Fahm chanted, "With spirit and blood we will redeem Gaza." In mosques, residents were urged to block the Wadi Ara route in northern Israel.
Daniel Edelson and Meital Yasur-Beit Or contributed to this report