Police suspect Tel Aviv car accident was actually a terror attack

Motorcyclist Gilad Tanami said the Palestinian suspect saw him outside of a synagogue and deliberately sped up to hit him.

By Batya Jerenberg, World Israel News

The police are now investigating whether a car accident that left a Jewish motorcyclist moderately injured in Tel Aviv last week was in fact a terror ramming attack, Channel 12 reported Sunday.

“On Thursday afternoon after I finished work, I went to the Florentine [neighborhood of Tel Aviv], and I met a friend outside the synagogue,” Gilad Tanami, 30, told the news site from his hospital room. “While we were standing around talking by the entrance to the synagogue, I looked up and saw a car speeding in my direction.

“The friend who was next to me took a step back and managed to pull me – that saved my life,” he continued. “I flew into the air as he continued on with the car and then collided with a pillar.”

The police quickly apprehended the suspect. The initial investigation revealed that he was a 31-year-old Palestinian Authority resident who was in Israel illegally, and the Shabak internal security agency became involved in the case. Over the course of the security agency’s own investigation, they began to suspect that the accident was instead a nationally-motivated terrorist incident.

Tanami and his friend both “understood right away that it was a stolen car.” However, neither believe the ramming was an accident.

“I knew from the first second that it was terrorism,” the skullcap-clad Tanami said. “The person saw me outside of a synagogue, I was wearing tzitzit [a garment with fringes that are traditionally worn by religious Jews]…. He accelerated into the synagogue, dragging my motorcycle another 40 meters. He didn’t honk or anything.”

“I heard that he was arrested,” he added, while moving painfully in his chair, his right leg encased in a cast up to his thigh. “it’s good that the police caught him. Let him please be given the most severe punishment.”

The Shabak investigation is still ongoing.