A security guard working at a checkpoint near the entrance to the West Bank settlement of Ma’ale Adumim was stabbed by an unknown assailant, in what police believe to be a terror attack.
The attacker entered a getaway car near the scene and fled into a nearby Arab village, police said.
Three suspects were later arrested in connection with the stabbing after a vehicle fitting the description of the getaway car was spotted by police.
The security guard, 60, suffered moderate wounds as a result of the stabbing and was rushed to the Hadassah-Mount Scopus Hospital for further treatment.
There were three private security guards stationed at the checkpoint where the incident occurred, Channel 10 reported. According to one of the guards, the Palestinian man was loitering at the junction, looking ill at ease, before he decided to approach the checkpoint. The guards then asked him to present an ID, at which point the attacker pulled out a knife and stabbed one of the guards in his torso.
The other two guards opened fire, but failed to hit the perpetrator, who fled into al-Azariya, an adjacent Palestinian village on the outskirts of East Jerusalem.
Helicopters and ground forces were searching for the assailant in the area, police said.
Since Monday, police increased their presence in and around Jerusalem, after a motorcycle rider shot and seriously injured a soldier in East Jerusalem, and after, in an unrelated incident, an excavator driver rammed a bus in the capital and killed a pedestrian, police said.
The shooting took place on Hanadiv Street, which separates the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Wadi al-Joz from the Hebrew University. The soldier, 20, was rushed to the nearby Hadassah Hospital Mount Scopus, where he was listed in serious condition. Security forces chased the gunman, who had reportedly escaped into Wadi al-Joz. A security guard opened fire on him, police said.
The driver of the excavator, who carried out the attack on the city’s Shmuel Hanavi Street, was identified as 23-year-old Muhammed Naif el-Ja’abis. He was shot dead by police who ran to the scene.
Ja’abis was a resident of the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Jabel Mukaber. The family of Ja’abis argued that the suspected attack was actually a car accident, and that Ja’abis was shot by police in cold blood. Security officials asserted that the excavator driver’s assault may have been a revenge attack, as the man’s cousin had had his house in East Jerusalem demolished two weeks ago.
Ja’abis is known to police from a previous, unspecified, security-related matter, Channel 2 reported.