A hashtag that states 'I am knife' has begun trending on Twitter as hardline users take to social media to heap praise a Palestinian man who stabbed 11 people on a bus in Tel Aviv.
The messages are an attempt to reappropriate the hashtag of solidarity - #JeSuisCharlie - which swept the world in the wake of the terrorist massacre at the Charlie Hebdo magazine offices.
However, the tweets - often accompanied by illustrations which depict the Palestinian flag and a bloody knife - are being posted in support of the stabber, who was shot by a prison officer after injuring 11 people in a brutal act of violence.
The attacker stabbed nine people, wounding some of them seriously, on a bus in central Tel Aviv before he was chased down, shot and arrested by a passing prison officer.
Israeli police described the assault as a 'terror attack' while the Islamic militant Hamas group praised it.
Passengers on the number 40 bus en route to Tel Aviv University said the assailant, identified by police as a Palestinian from Tulkarm in the Israeli-occupied West Bank, stabbed the driver and then others at the Maariv junction, one of the coastal city's busiest.
'The terrorist had murder in his eyes,' a passenger identified only as Orly said on Israel Radio.
The attacker exited the bus after it slowed to a stop and ran down a street along with panicked passengers and pedestrians.
He said he heard people screaming for help from the bus while on his way to the courthouse, The Jerusalem Post reported.
He said: 'We saw the attacker and chased after him. We first fired in the air and when he didn't stop, we fired at his feet and the attacker fell to the ground. We restrained him on the ground until area police could arrive at the scene.'
The stabbing is the latest in a type of 'lone-wolf' attacks that have plagued Israel in recent months. About a dozen people have been killed in Palestinian attacks, including five people killed with guns and meat cleavers in a bloody assault on a Jerusalem synagogue.
Hamas, the Islamic militant group that controls the Gaza Strip did not claim responsibility but praised Wednesday's attack as 'brave and heroic' in a tweet by Izzat Risheq, a Hamas leader residing in Qatar.
The stabbing is a 'natural response to the occupation and its terrorist crimes against our people,' Risheq said.
A Jewish cap and headphones lie in blood stains on the floor at the bus stop following the stabbing
Israeli paramedics treat an injured woman. Hamas leaders later praised the attack
An injured Israeli man is treated by police and paramedics after he was stabbed in the 'terror attack'
Israeli officials say the attacks stem from incitement by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and other Palestinian leaders.
Most of the violence has occurred in Jerusalem, though there have been other attacks in Tel Aviv and the West Bank.
In Jerusalem, the violence came after months of tensions between Jews and Palestinians in east Jerusalem — the section of the city the Palestinians demand as their future capital. The area experienced unrest and near-daily attacks by Palestinians following a wave of violence last summer, capped by a 50-day war between Israel and Hamas militants in Gaza.
Much of the recent unrest has stemmed from tensions surrounding a key holy site in Jerusalem's Old City. It is the holiest site for Jews, who call it the Temple Mount because of the revered Jewish Temples that stood there in biblical times. Muslims refer to it as the Noble Sanctuary, and it is their third holiest site, after Mecca and Medina in Saudi Arabia.