Tel Aviv car accident was actually a terror attack, police say

Collision initially listed as traffic incident was in fact an Arab terror attack, carried out by an Arab infiltrator to avenge the death of his cousin, authorities say.

By World Israel News Staff

A vehicular collision in Tel Aviv earlier this month was an Arab terror attack, Israel Police announced Monday, not a traffic accident as initially believed.

On Thursday, December 8th, a Palestinian Arab man who had snuck across the border into Israeli territory was driving in the Florentine neighborhood of Tel Aviv, when he suddenly swerved his car, colliding with an Israeli motorcyclist who had been chatting with a friend at the entrance to a synagogue.

The victim, 30-year-old Gilad Tanami, was moderately injured in the collision.

“On Thursday afternoon after I finished work, I went to the Florentine [neighborhood of Tel Aviv], and I met a friend outside the synagogue” Tanami told Channel 12.

“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.”

Police arrested the driver, who was identified as 31-year-old Ali Hamad, a resident of the Palestinian Authority-administered town of Silwad, near Ramallah.

During questioning, investigators suspected Hamad had intentionally rammed into Tanami, possibly for nationalistic reasons.

The Shin Bet internal security agency was called to take over the interrogation and to probe whether the incident was in fact terror related.

On Monday afternoon, a police spokesperson announced that the Shin Bet investigation had revealed that the incident was indeed a terror attack, noting that Hamad had confessed during questioning.

Hamad told interrogators that he had decided to carry out a terror attack against Israeli Jews to avenge the death of his cousin, a terrorist gunman who was killed during a firefight with Israeli forces a day before the Tel Aviv ramming attack.

To carry out the attack, Hamad drove a car bearing Israeli license plates across the border, entering pre-1967 Israel, and proceeding to Tel Aviv.