Naim Aline, 61, a Jerusalem taxi driver, was attacked Monday by two Jewish teens.
According to police investigation, Aline stopped for the two passengers with his taxi and they asked to be taken to central Jerusalem. During the drive, they told him to go into a side street, where they allegedly put a knife to his neck.
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When trying to fight the attackers, Aline was cut on his hand. The suspects then escaped and the taxi driver sought medical treatment at the Shaare Zedek Medical Center in Jerusalem.
Police launched an investigation of the case, and are looking into the possibility that the crime was nationalistically motivated.
"They got in the cab at 3 am," Aline said after leaving the hospital. "They seemed completely normal – asked to go to Pisgat Zeev, but that we first pick up a friend in Gilo (Jerusalem neighborhoods). We agreed on a price and drove.
'They were close to slitting my throat' (Photo: AFP)
"After a few minutes, we stopped in a big parking lot in Gilo, almost completely deserted, but they weren’t scared. The one sitting behind me strangled me, put a knife to my throat and then I got a cut to my hand. I started screaming and they probably got scared and ran away."
Aline added that the two didn’t talk during the drive except for one moment in which one asked "sure?" and the other replied "yes."
"I think they wanted to make sure I was an Arab," he said. "The first thought is that they wanted to attack me because I'm an Arab. After the attack, I saw they were far away from me. I wanted to chase one of them, but he climbed on a wall and disappeared. Then I called the police and I was evacuated to the hospital."
Aline's clothes and car seat were soaked in blood. "It was frightening," he said. "I thought I could die there. I feel reborn; they were really close to slitting my throat. It's tough to think about what happened. I talk about it and I'm shaking all over.
"They didn’t steal anything; they didn’t ask for money – they just wanted to make sure I was an Arab."
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