A police officer apprehended two Palestinian teenagers Tuesday in Jerusalem’s Old City and confiscated an ax and a utility knife that were on their person, and with which they intended to carry out an attack, police said.
The officer’s suspicion was raised by the sight of the two, aged 16 and 17, standing on a street corner and observing passersby, a police statement read. After questioning them, the officer searched their belongings and found the potentially lethal objects.
The teenagers, residents of the Arab East Jerusalem neighborhood of A-Tur, were transferred to a nearby security facility for interrogation.
Earlier in the day, police arrested two Palestinian women who were carrying large knives near the Tomb of the Patriarchs in the West Bank city of Hebron.
When they were confronted by police, the two refused to submit to a search and began shouting, “We have come to free Palestine” at the Tzalbanit checkpoint near the holy site, police spokeswoman Luba Samri said. Border Police officers at the scene arrested the pair and found two knives in one women’s purse.
They were taken to the Hebron District police station for further questioning.
In another incident Tuesday, Jerusalem Police detectives noticed an Arab teenager walking “in a suspicious way” behind some police officers in the Old City, Samri said. The detectives stopped the 15-year-old and found a ruler that had been carved and sharpened into a shank.
The teen, a resident of the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Silwan, was arrested and brought to the nearby David District police station for questioning.
On Monday night, Israeli security forces made multiple arrests and confiscated several assault rifles and other weapons in raids on several Palestinian towns, an army official said.
Soldiers from the Kfir Brigade’s Duchifat Battalion located a weaponry cache in T’lat, a small town south of the West Bank city of Qalqilya, during an operation to arrest Palestinians suspected of taking part in violent demonstrations.
The cache included an M-16 assault rifle, a handgun, sniper scopes and hunting rifles, ammunition and knives, an IDF spokeswoman told The Times of Israel. As the investigation was still ongoing, the IDF would not officially name the organization they believe to be responsible, but a Fatah flag as well as other propaganda material for the Palestinian group’s militant wing were also found on the scene.
In a separate operation in the West Bank, officers from the Shin Bet security service and the Yamas — the Israel Police’s undercover unit — located another weapon stash in Jenin.
IDF, police and Shin Bet security service forces arrested a total of 44 Palestinians Monday night for their involvement in violent demonstrations or terror activity.
The incidents came amid a spate of attacks, including knifings, shootings and vehicular assaults, against Israelis in Israel and the West Bank. At least nine Israelis have been killed since unrest broke out amid Palestinian allegations that Israel has been seeking to change the status quo in Jerusalem’s volatile Temple Mount compound, which houses the Al-Aqsa Mosque and is holy to both Jews and Muslims. Israel has persistently denied the claims.
Over 50 Palestinians were killed, many of them while carrying out attacks against Israelis. Others were killed in clashes with Israeli security forces in the West Bank and along the Gaza border.