A 29-year-old former U.S. Army officer was killed in a stabbing attack in Israel amid a rash of stabbings and shootings by Palestinians terrorists during a visit by U.S. Vice-President Joe Biden.
The victim, Taylor Force, was a first-year graduate student in management who was in Israel with his wife, who was seriously wounded. They were part of a group of 29 students and four staff members from Vanderbilt University who were in Israel studying global entrepreneurship.
The attack took place in near an upscale hotel on the boardwalk in Jaffa, next to Tel Aviv. At the time, Biden was at the Peres Peace Center, a 15-minute walk away from the site of the attack in Jaffa.
Force, from Lubbock, Texas, graduated from West Point in 2009 and was a field artillery officer in the U.S. Army until 2014. He served in Afghanistan and Iraq. Just last year, he began the MBA program.
At least nine other people were injured in the attack, with a number of the victims in critical condition. After the stabbing spree that lasted close to 20 minutes in three different locations ranging from the Jaffa Port to the Tel Aviv beach, the attacker, a 21-year old Palestinian from the West Bank town of Qalqiliya, was killed by security forces.
Jaffa, a scenic seaside attraction, is a town known for peaceful coexistence between its Jewish and Arab residents. Included in the victims of Tuesday’s attack were an Arab Israeli and a Palestinian.
Earlier in the day, another Palestinian terrorist carried out a stabbing attack in the Israeli city Petah Tikvah, while yet another shot two police officers in a drive-by attack near the Damascus Gate in Jerusalem. One officer was in critical condition, while the other was listed in serious condition.
After being stabbed multiple times in the upper body, the victim of the Petah Tikvah attack managed to extricate the knife from his own neck and used it to kill the terrorist.
All of the attacks took place in central Israel as opposed to the “disputed territories.”
In a statement posted on its website, Hamas praised the attacks as “heroic operations,” saying “Hamas celebrates the martyrs that have ascended through these operations, and confirms that their pure blood will, God willing, be the fuel for escalating the intifada.”
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu sent his condolences to Force's family, adding, "May his memory be a blessing."
Twenty-nine Israelis and four foreign nationals have been killed since October, 2015, when Palestinians launched the ongoing wave of attacks.
Watch a news report on the attack: