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Ron Yitzhak Kokia
Soldier stabbed to death in Arad in suspected terror attack
Soldier found outside mall in the northern city of Arad with stab wounds; paramedics declare him dead on scene; police says murder was likely nationalistically-motivated; search ongoing for suspects.
A soldier who was waiting for the bus was stabbed to death outside the mall in Arad on Thursday night in what police said was likely a nationalistically-motivated murder.

 

 

The soldier from the Nahal infantry brigade, who was identified on Friday morning as 19-year-old Ron Yitzhak Kokia from Tel Aviv, tried to call for help after having been fatally stabbed, collapsing on top of a car.

 

The slain soldier, Ron Yitzhak Kokia
The slain soldier, Ron Yitzhak Kokia

 

Kokia was posthumously promoted from the rank of corporal to Sergeant. His funeral will take place on Sunday at 12pm at Kiryat Shaul Cemetery.

 

Scene of the stabbing (Photo: Israel Police)
Scene of the stabbing (Photo: Israel Police)

 

"I was driving and all of a sudden a soldier ran to me, blocking my car in the middle of a traffic circle," the driver said. "I didn't understand what was happening. I noticed he started throwing up. I was sure he was drunk. I stopped, and all of a sudden I saw he was throwing up blood on my car. I stopped and called for help."

     

 (Photo: Haim Zach)
(Photo: Haim Zach)

 

"He was conscious and tried to say something but couldn't," the driver continued. "We tried to help him, he fell to the ground. We called Magen David Adom and put a towel on him."

 

Paramedics who arrived on the scene found the soldier unconscious and without a pulse. After resuscitation attempts failed, he was declared dead.

 

 

 (Photo: Ilana Curiel)
(Photo: Ilana Curiel)

Police were searching the area for suspects, setting up roadblocks on route 31 and in the entrance to the city. A helicopter was also scrambled to help search. Shin Bet and IDF forces were also deployed to help police in search for the perpetrators.

 

Among other things, security forces are trying to ascertain whether the soldier's Tavor assault rifle was stolen.

 

 (Photo: Barel Efraim)
(Photo: Barel Efraim)
 

 

An eye witness recounted the incident, saying "Someone came up to the soldier from behind and stabbed him. I saw him lying down (on the ground). My friend called me over when it happened, he tried to stop the bleeding with a towel."

 

According to Arad Mayor Nissan Ben-Hemo, "The working assumption is that this was a terror attack, but it still has yet to be determined unequivocally." 

 

More than 250 policemen and soldiers were deployed across Arad on Friday morning, while security forces combed the city, determining that the culprit or culprits responsible for the attack were no longer in the area.

 

“I send my condolences to the bereaved family and I support the security forces in their search for the terrorists and their aides.”

 


First published: 30.11.17, 22:27
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