A Sudanese Muslim attacked an Israeli citizen on an Ethiopian Airlines flight, Ynet reports.
The attacker was detained by Ethiopian police in Addis Ababa and is in custody, the Israeli Foreign ministry told Ynet Tuesday. The Israeli embassy there has reportedly been notified by authorities.
The Sudanese man tried to strangle the 54-year-old Israeli passenger, identified as Arik, minutes before the plane’s descent, Ynet adds.
“He hit me on the head with a metal tray,” Arik told the media outlet. “In the beginning I was unable to make a sound or call for help. It was only after a few seconds, when I was on the verge of losing consciousness, that I managed to scream.”
A flight attendant witnessed the attack and alerted cabin crew, who took Arik to the back of the plane while others guarded him. The Sudanese citizen urged the other passengers to lynch him, but most on the half-empty flight did not get involved, Arik added.
The incident comes amid heavy violence between Israelis and Palestinians that began at a major Jerusalem holy site revered by Muslims and Jews.
The unrest is driven by Palestinian fears Israel is trying to expand its presence at the Muslim-run shrine. Israel has dismissed the claims as anti-Israeli incitement and says it is committed to a decades-old status quo that bars non-Muslims from praying at the site.
But Palestinians point to growing demands for prayer rights at the shrine by Jewish activists and their political backers, including senior members of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s coalition.
At least eleven Israelis have been killed in Palestinian attacks, mostly stabbings. Sixty-nine Palestinians have died by Israeli fire, including 43 who Israel says were involved in attacks or attempted attacks.
SOURCE: Fox News / The Associated Press