Two Palestinian children carrying knives were detained outside a West Bank settlement, south of Jerusalem, on Wednesday, the Israel Defense Forces said.
“A short while ago forces identified and apprehended two Palestinian children under the age of ten near the community of Migdal Oz,” the army said. “During the initial questioning the children admitted to have been sent, armed with knives, in order to carry out a terror attack.”
The two were spotted near the security fence.
IDF spokesperson Peter Lerner said the pair were just eight years old.
“When two, eight-year-old children are sent on a mission to attack Israeli civilians it is clear that the hateful rhetoric that echoes within Palestinian society abuses the most vulnerable of minds,” he said.
In the year-long wave of terror attacks that has killed at least 34 Israelis and injured dozens, some of the terrorists carrying out stabbing attacks were as young as 11 or 13.
On Sunday, Israeli soldiers shot a Palestinian man in the leg with a rubber bullet as he approached the fence surrounding the Jewish settlement of Beit El, north of Ramallah in the West Bank.
The forces, who were guarding the area, had spotted three men outside Beit El. In order to “deter the suspects” the soldiers opened fire with rubber bullets, striking one of the men, an army spokesperson said.
The suspects then fled the scene, the army said. The soldiers did not pursue them.
“With that, the incident was over,” the spokesperson said. The nature of that incident — if it was criminal, a misunderstanding or a thwarted terror attack — was not immediately clear.