A Palestinian teenager tried to stab a security guard at the entrance to a West Bank settlement on Saturday morning, and was shot dead.
The girl, 13, approached the entrance to Anatot, near Jerusalem, brandishing a knife, and attempted to stab the guard as he went to speak to her. There were no Israeli injuries in the incident.
“A 13-year-old Palestinian girl with a knife in her hand ran toward the civilian security guard at Anatot,” police spokeswoman Luba Samri said. “She had a knife and intended to die… The guard opened fire, gravely wounding her and medics pronounced her dead shortly afterward.”
Israel Police said later that an initial investigation showed the girl, Roqaya Abu-Eid from the nearby village of Anata, had fought with her parents and stormed out the family home with the knife, declaring that she wanted to die.
An Israeli Arab MK said she could have been restrained rather than killed.
The girl’s father went out to look for her and came across the scene at the entrance to Anatot. He was questioned to see if he knew in advance of her intentions but was later released.
Palestinian officials said Israel returned her body for burial by her family.
Israeli media said she was to be buried on Sunday in the southern West Bank village of Yatta, where the family is originally from.
At least 29 Israelis and some 150 Palestinians, most of them attackers, have been killed in the latest spate of terrorism and violence in recent months, which has included Palestinian stabbing, car-ramming and shooting attacks in Israel and the West Bank.
Most of the Palestinians killed were carrying out attacks. Many of the assailants have been young people, including teenagers. Abu-Eid is thought to be the youngest killed during an attack.
In November, police in Jerusalem shot dead a 16-year-old Palestinian and seriously wounded her 14-year-old friend after the two girls stabbed and lightly wounded an elderly man in a market.
The same month in the east Jerusalem settlement of Pisgat Zeev, two Palestinian boys aged 12 and 14 attacked a security guard with knives, police said.
The younger of the boys, both from Jerusalem’s Shuafat refugee camp, was shot and seriously wounded and the other was arrested.
Murad Ideis, 15, who allegedly stabbed to death a 38-year-old Israeli nurse and mother of six at her house in a West Bank settlement last Sunday, was later arrested in a raid on his family home.
Arab Israeli MK Issawi Frej of the opposition Meretz party said in a statement that Abu-Eid could have been restrained rather than killed. “Even if she had a knife, it should have been possible to arrest a girl of that age,” he said.
Frej referred to Swedish Foreign Minister Margot Wallstrom, who enraged Israel when she called for “thorough and credible investigations” into the deaths of Palestinians killed by Israeli forces in the wave of violence since October 1. She has also called on Israel to halt what she called “extrajudicial executions” in response to attacks by knife-wielding Palestinians.
Transportation Minister Yisrael Katz rebuffed Frej’s remarks. calling his comments falsehoods “which the enemies of Israel in the world will use well.” He asked whether the Meretz party had become a branch of the Arab Balad party.
The head of the Palestinian domestic intelligence body said this week that the Palestinian Authority has prevented 200 attacks against Israelis in the current wave of violence, which began in October.
Majed Faraj, director of the PA’s General Intelligence Service, told Defense News in an interview published Wednesday that Palestinian security services have also confiscated weapons and arrested some 100 Palestinians in the effort to prevent the attacks.
“We are sure that violence, radicalization and terrorism will hurt us. It won’t bring us closer to achieving our dream of a Palestinian state,” Faraj told the magazine in what he said was his first media interview.