Four schoolboys from East Jerusalem have been arrested on suspicion that they planned to carry out a stabbing attack at the Damascus Gate in the capital’s Old City, Israel Police said Friday.
The four were caught trying to smuggling a backpack into the city containing two large knives, which they allegedly intended to use to attack Israelis.
According to spokeswoman Luba Samri, Border Police on Thursday morning spotted a boy of about 14 behaving suspiciously near a one-way turnstile at the entrance to the Shuafat refugee camp.
The boy, on the Shuafat side of the gate, was carrying a backpack which he handed over to another boy, around 12 years old. Police also identified two other boys who were serving as lookouts as the transfer took place.
The younger boy handed the older one a slip of paper which officers later found was a pass to enter Jerusalem. He then started walking off towards the west of the city.
Border Policemen arrested the young boy and the two lookouts, while the 14-year-old escaped back into Shuafat.
Searching the backpack, the officers found two large knives. The 14-year-old was arrested in Shuafat on Friday morning. He told investigators he had intended to use the fake pass to enter the city, join his friends and carry out a stabbing at the Damascus Gate.
Police Chief Superintendent Golan Sharoni, commander of Border Police forces in northern Jerusalem, said officers’ “professional and decisive actions prevented an attack against security forces and innocent civilians.”
He also called on parents of Arab teens who have been increasingly involved in anti-Israeli activity to “show responsibility and increased awareness toward their children and their behavior.”