The stabbing attack by a Palestinian assailant against an Israeli teenager who remains in serious condition was a terror attack, security officials determined.

Shuva Malka, 18, remains in serious but stable condition in the intensive care unit after undergoing emergency surgery in the wake of the early Monday afternoon attack in the northern Israeli city of Afula.

The Israel Security Agnecy, also known as the Shin Bet, said on Tuesday that the attack was nationalistically motivated. The security agency identified the attacker as Nur Shunawi of the West Bank city of Jenin, and confessed the attack.  Shinawi, who is in his 20s and who entered Israel from the West Bank without a permit, does not have a record of being involved in terrorist activities.

Malka, from the northern city of Migdal Ha’emek,  was stabbed as she walked to a matriculation examination in citizenship. She collapsed in front of a coffeehouse in the centre of Afula with stab wounds to her upper body after telling passers-by that she had been stabbed by an Arab man.

Upon arriving at the scene, police identified a man who started to flee and refused calls to stop. Officers fired at his feet, then arrested him and discovered that he was carrying a knife.