Two Israeli women were injured, one critically, in a stabbing attack at the entrance to the West Bank settlement of Beit Horon on Monday evening.
The pair were attacked by two Palestinian assailants near the community’s grocery store, just off the Route 443 highway between Jerusalem and Modiin, northwest of the capital.
The woman in critical condition, who is 23, was re-designated as being in serious condition later Monday.
The two terrorists who carried out the attack were shot and killed by a security guard after a short chase, police said.
The two terrorists, clad in black, attempted to enter the grocery store, but were fought off by the store owner, Mordechai Shalem, who blocked the entry with a shopping cart.
Security footage showed the two, brandishing knives, failing to get into the store, as Shalem wielded the cart to block the entrance.
“I don’t know where I got the courage,” Shalem told Channel 2 on Monday night.
“But there were children in the store, women. Someone called out ‘terrorists'”
Added Shalem: “I saw them with their knives raised. I saw the hatred in their eyes. I knew I had to stop them from getting in… They screamed Allahu Akbar. I screamed back at them, get out of here, you dogs.”
During a sweep of the surrounding area, police officers found three “suspicious objects,” which they feared could be pipe bombs, a police spokesperson said. A sapper was called to the scene to determine if the objects were indeed improvised explosive devices, and disarm them if need be, the official said.
Officials said later that the devices were improvised bombs, pointing to a well-planned attack.
The two attackers apparently slipped into the settlement by jumping over a fence, police said later.
The market, located near the entrance of the settlement and just a few feet from a guard booth, is bounded by two fences, one well guarded barrier alongside a patrol road and a second mostly untended fence next to a wadi.
The woman in serious condition is approximately 23 years old, the Magen David Adom rescue service said.
“When we arrived on the scene, they took us to a woman … who was unconscious and suffering from stab wounds to the upper body,” senior MDA medic Lior Levy said. “We put her in the intensive care ambulance and gave her lifesaving treatment on the way to the hospital. She was in very serious condition.”
The moderately injured woman is in her late 50s, the rescue service said.
“She was fully conscious but suffering from stab wounds to the upper body,” senior MDA medic Zevulun Kaiti said.
The 23-year-old was taken to Jerusalem’s Hadassah Hospital Ein Kerem for treatment, while the woman in her late 50s was taken to Jerusalem’s Shaare Zedek Medical Center, MDA said.
The two terrorists were named as Ibrahim Al’an, 23, from the West Bank Palestinian village of Beit Ur al-Tahta, and Hassin Abu Gush, 17, from the Qalandiya refugee camp near Jerusalem.
The settlement, home to some 300 families, is situated alongside Route 443, a major highway leading to Jerusalem, and has been mostly immune to other violence that has rocked parts of the West Bank in the last five months. A Border Police base is located next to the entrance of the settlement.
The terror attack is the third in just over a week to take place inside a settlement. On January 17, a terrorist infiltrated the settlement of Otniel in the southern West Bank, stabbing mother-of-six Dafna Meir to death.
A day later, a terrorist sneaked into the settlement of Tekoa, south of Jerusalem, and knifed a pregnant woman, Michal Froman, moderately wounding her.