The American tourist who was stabbed to death by a Palestinian at a popular oceanfront boardwalk in Jaffa has been identified as 29-year old Army veteran Taylor Force. Force's wife was severely injured in the attack, although no immediate details were available.
Force, who is a graduate student at the Owen Graduate School of Management at the Vanderbilt University, was said to be on a school trip with other students, faculty and staff when the incident took place. A Texas native, he was a US army veteran, having graduated from West Point Military Academy in 2009.
According to his Linkedin profile, Force served as a field artillery officer from 2009-2014 at Fort Hood. The New York Daily News said that Force had served in both Iraq and Afghanistan. There was no immediate confirmation from the US Department of Defense.
Force was killed and 10 others were injured on 8 March when a Palestinian went on a stabbing rampage in Jaffa. Five of the injured are believed to be in critical condition.
In a statement, the University said: "It is with extreme sadness that I write to inform you that Taylor Force, a student at our Owen Graduate School of Management, was fatally wounded March 8 in a stabbing attack while on an Owen school trip to Tel Aviv, Israel. The university said that the rest of the group from the university are safe.
"This horrific act of violence has robbed our Vanderbilt family of a young hopeful life and all of the bright promise that he held for bettering our greater world," Chancellor Nicholas S Zeppos wrote. "Taylor's family and his friends and colleagues have our deepest sympathy and utmost support."
The chancellor said that Taylor was on the trip to "expand his understanding of global entrepreneurship and also to share his insights and knowledge with start-ups in Israel. He exemplified the spirit of discovery, learning and service ..."
The attacker was identified as 22-year-old Bashar Massalha from the West Bank Palestinian refugee camp in Qalqiliya, the Times of Israel reported. It said that Massalha stabbed his victims in at least three locations along the Tel Aviv beach promenade. After a 20 minute rampage, he was shot dead by police.
The Wolfson Medical Center in Tel Aviv has confirmed that a 29-year-old American tourist was pronounced dead on arrival while another was being treated at the trauma unit in critical condition. The Ichilov Hospital has taken in six victims - one in critical condition and two suffering from light injuries.
The hospital's medical director confirmed that one of the victims was a pregnant woman while another was an Arab Israeli and a Palestinian who was living in Israel illegally. One of those injured is believed to be a Russian tourist, according to eye-witnesses but this could not be independently confirmed.
Hamas released a statement praising the attacks and described it, one of several on 8 March, as "heroic operations". It said: "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."