Israeli forces have arrested two Palestinian men in connection with an attack on a young girl in the Psagot settlement in October, the Shin Bet security service said Monday.
The attack was initially thought to be a terrorist shooting incident, but investigators now say 9-year-old Noam Glick was stabbed during a burglary gone wrong. Officials are still unsure whether the incident was nationalistically motivated.
Abdallah Shadah Abdallah Abu Kabitah, 21, and Shvil Ataf Shvili Kra’ain, 19, both residents of Al-Birah, were arrested by Israeli forces in connection with the stabbing.
Under questioning by the Shin Bet, Abu Kabitah confessed that he had tried to break into the Glick home to steal a gun after he became embroiled in a personal dispute.
A gag order on the case was lifted Monday.
At the time the crime was widely reported as a terror attack and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu laid blame for the attack — as well as several others — on incitement sanctioned by the Palestinian Authority.
The IDF still maintains the attack was nationalistic in nature, Army Radio reported, though the Shin Bet is now treating it as a criminal matter, and police are unsure.
According to a statement by the Shin Bet, investigators learned that a few days before the knife attack Abu Kabitah and Kra’ain had cut their way through the Psagot community security fence and made their way toward some homes to try and steal a weapon. However, a passing car rattled the intruders and they left empty-handed.
Abu Kabitah then returned by himself on October 5 and entered the settlement via the same hole in the fence. After approaching the Glick home near the fence of the settlement, which sits just outside Ramallah, Abdallah was surprised by Noam Glick and stabbed her before fleeing.
The victim, who underwent surgery overnight, had a deep gash along the base of her neck and her upper chest area and was wounded in one ear.
At the time of the attack Glick and her father both said that the girl had been shot by a Palestinian gunman at very close range.
“I went outside, and Noam told us there was an Arab there,” the victim’s father, Yisrael Glick, told Army Radio the day after the attack. “I understood this was a security situation, dangerous to our lives, the most frightening thing that can happen to a family — that a terrorist came into the house.”
He said that he heard gunshots and was able to pull his daughter into the house. The assailant fired “three shots” at her from point-blank range, he said. By the time he emerged from the house again with his weapon, he said, the attacker had fled.
Glick said that the attacker was “startled” by the girl playing in the yard, “so instead of entering the house he shot her.”