A U.S. Army veteran who served in Iraq and Afghanistan was killed by a Palestinian attacker in a knife attack in Jaffa, an ancient port city in Israel, Tuesday.
The New York Daily News first reported that West Point graduate Taylor Force, who served in Iraq and Afghanistan, was killed in the attack near Tel Aviv Tuesday. Force, 29, was studying business at Vanderbilt University and was on a trip to Jaffa with classmates, according to a statement from the school.
“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,” Chancellor Nicholas Zeppos said in the statement.
“Taylor embarked on this trip to expand his understanding of global entrepreneurship and also to share his insights and knowledge with start-ups in Israel.”
According to Force’s LinkedIn profile, he served as a field artillery officer in the Army between May 2009 and August 2014 after graduating from West Point. He was based at Fort Hood in Texas.
Earlier Tuesday, the Associated Press reported that Israeli police spokeswoman Luba Samri said that an American tourist died Tuesday after being stabbed along with several others in Jaffa. Further details about the identity of the American tourist were not initially known.
The attack occurred just as Vice President Joe Biden arrived in Tel Aviv to engage in talks with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. The talks with Biden, who is scheduled to spend two days in Israel, are expected to cover the 10-year defense aid package for Israel and the fight against ISIS.
According to Reuters, the American tourist was killed and at least nine individuals were wounded in the knife attack in Jaffa Tuesday, which occurred on a boardwalk frequented by tourists.
“A terrorist, an illegal resident who came from somewhere in the Palestinian territories, came here to Jaffa and embarked on a run … along the boardwalk. On his way he indiscriminately stabbed people,” Ron Huldai, the mayor of Tel Aviv, told a radio station. He added that the attacker was eventually shot and killed by police.
Palestinians waged several shooting and stabbing attacks on Tuesday, a violent trend that has persisted for months in Israel.
The attacks Tuesday wounded at least a dozen Israelis, and four Palestinian attackers were shot and killed.