Israeli military's Arabic spokesman Avichay Adraee was 'initial target of attack'

Israeli military's Arabic spokesman Avichay Adraee was 'initial target of attack'
The alleged perpetrators of a fatal car ramming attack in Ra'anana initially targeted the Israeli military's Arabic spokesman Avichay Adraee.
2 min read
22 February, 2024
The alleged perpetrators of an attack in Ra’anana first targeted the Israeli military's Arabic spokesman [Getty]

The Israeli military’s main Arabic-language spokesman was allegedly the main target of a deadly car-ramming attack on January 15 in the city of Ra’anana by Palestinian militants, according to an Israeli police report on Wednesday.

Lt. Col. Avichay Adraee is well-known throughout the Middle East and North Africa, often appearing in Arab media where he pushes Israeli propaganda on a whole range of issues, including the current devastating war on Gaza.

The police investigation revealed that months before the attack, one of the alleged perpetrators spotted Adraee sitting at a restaurant. Israeli police claim that Ahmed Zidat, aged 25, contemplated attacking Adraee at the time, but was unarmed.

He then allegedly returned to the venue for days and weeks and would walk around the neighbourhood searching for Adraee armed with a knife but did not see him again.

On 15 January, Zidat and another alleged perpetrator, both from the occupied West Bank town of Bani Na’im, stole cars from the car wash where they worked illegally and went on a “ramming spree”, killing one person and injuring 17 others.

The two were arrested following the attack but have yet to stand trial.

The Shin Bet, Israel’s internal security agency, claim the two said they had wanted to carry out an attack due to Israel’s war on Gaza, with Adraee probably being targeted due to his prominence in Arab media as a spokesman for Israeli forces.

Adraee has gained a controversial reputation in recent years, with him frequently quoting the hadith and Qur’an on social media platforms in what many believe is an attempt to bait Muslims.


He also launches scathing “rants” directed at figures such as Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah and Hamas' leader in Gaza Yahya Sinwar. 

The Israeli military claim his goal is to reach out to the Arabic-speaking world on friendly terms. However, he is often the first official Israeli voice Arabic-speakers from the region read or hear on social media when Israel is attempting to justify what many consider to be atrocities in Gaza and beyond. 

He caused particular controversy in 2018 when he posted a two–part Arabic video on X, employing blatant anti-Shia rhetoric and citing some of the scholars the Islamic State (IS) group, in what many believed was an attempt by Israel to incite Sunni sectarian sentiment against Iran.