JERUSALEM (JTA) — The attacker who stabbed two Jewish teenagers as they walked to the Western Wall on Shavuot night was a Christian-Israeli.
John Kakis, 19, of the Old City of Jerusalem, was arrested in connection with the May 23 stabbing attack that left the teens with moderate injuries, the Shin Bet security service said in a statement Thursday. The teens had been headed to the Western Wall for a night of Torah study in honor of the Shavuot holiday.
Kakis said during questioning that he committed the attack in order to “take revenge on the Jews,” according to the Shin Bet, adding that Kakis has been arrested previously for other stabbing attacks on Jews. His desire for revenge stemmed from his exposure to racist slogans in the Old City and incidents of violence against him carried out by Jews, according to the Shin Bet.
Kakis was arrested in his home the night of the attack after being identified by police in footage from security cameras set up in the area. Police discovered the knife believed to have been used in the attack and other items linked to the incident in the home.
“This stabbing attack joins a list of attacks carried out by lone terrorists in Jerusalem this past year,” the Shin Bet said in a statement. “It indicates the high level of threat from individual terrorists, especially those who have engaged in violence in the past and on the need for effective deterrence and prosecuting all those involved in these types of attacks.”