Six arrested over stabbing attack during Pillar of Defense

Six arrested over stabbing attack during Pillar of Defense

Beersheba student was left in moderate condition after knifing in November

Stuart Winer is a breaking news editor at The Times of Israel.

Crime (illustrative photo: Yossi Zamir/Flash90)
Crime (illustrative photo: Yossi Zamir/Flash90)

Six men, including a Palestinian and an Israeli Arab, have been arrested in connection with a stabbing attack on a student in Beersheba during Operation Pillar of Defense. News of the arrests was cleared for publication on Thursday.

The November 19 attack, which left the student in moderate condition, was carried out on behalf of a terror group as revenge for Israeli strikes against targets in Gaza at the time, one of the suspects said.

The two principal suspects are Abdallah Samhan, 23, from the Hebron area, and a 17-year-old from a Bedouin community in the Negev. During questioning they confessed that they were recruited by the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade, the military wing of Fatah. The two admitted that they had agreed to take part in terror activities and even to try and kidnap an IDF soldier.

Samhan said he entered Israel illegally and went to work in the Bedouin town of Rahat. During the course of Operation Pillar of Defense he decided to carry out an attack and, armed with a knife, he traveled to Beersheba, where he met with the other principal suspect. As the student passed by on a jogging run Samhan pulled out the knife, which he had concealed in his sock, and stabbed the victim.

During the course of a joint investigation by police, other security services, and the IDF, another four suspects were arrested. Charges will be brought against them in the coming days, police said, although they didn’t specify what they would be charged with.

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