A 16-year-old girl was stabbed in the upper torso in her high school classroom near Afula yesterday. She was hospitalized in serious condition and placed on a respirator.
The suspect, a 23-year-old man from Sandala, a town near Afula, has been arrested. Police say he stabbed the girl, who is from the town of Na’ura, to get back at her for rejecting his advances.
The school where the stabbing took place is ORT Achva-Gilboa, the latest in a string of Arabic-speaking schools reporting violent incidents and disciplinary problems.
An Education Ministry survey released in October found that 11 percent of 10th- and 11th-graders in Arabic-speaking schools reported involvement in violent incidents during the 2013-2014 school year, an 84 percent increase over the 2009-2010 school year.
The spike in violence contrasts with the trend in Hebrew-speaking schools, which saw a 30 percent decrease in the percentage of students reporting involvement in violent incidents over the same period.
Magen David Adom paramedic Taufiq Basol, who treated the stabbing victim, said the school was in an uproar after the attack.
“A girl of about 16 was lying on the floor with stab wounds in her upper torso. We gave her medical treatment and took her to Haemek Hospital in Afula,” he said.
Wahel Zoabi, the deputy chairman of the school’s parents council, accused the Gilboa Regional Council of failing to respond to repeated requests to improve the school’s security.
“We asked for security cameras and to fix the gates,” he said. “There’s one guard for 1,400 students. We sent letters and they didn’t answer. We blame the council. This is terrorism, plain terrorism.”
The Gilboa Regional Council condemned “every form of violence” and said it took a grim view of the incident.
“The security in the school was in keeping with the required standard,” it said. “In the next few days the council, together with the police, will examine the circumstances of the attack and help in any way to complete the investigation. The students’ safety and welfare is our main concern.”
Zoabi, who said he came to the school as soon as he heard of the attack, said the security guard appears to have been busy with another student when the perpetrator entered the school.