Two stabbing attacks thwarted within minutes in West Bank

Two stabbing attacks thwarted within minutes in West Bank

Assailant shot and killed while attempting an attack at Etzion Junction; 2 youths arrested with knives near Sha’ar Binyamin

Two attempts to stab Israelis in the West Bank were thwarted within minutes of each other Friday afternoon.

In the first attack, a Palestinian man exited his vehicle near the Etzion Junction and attempted to stab soldiers. He was shot and killed by soldiers. There were no reports of other casualties.

In the second attack, soldiers near the Sha’ar Binyamin Industrial Zone, east of Ramallah, caught two Palestinian youths carrying knives which they are believed to have planned to use in an attack.

A car dropped off the two boys, who approached soldiers guarding the perimeter while behaving in a suspect manner. Troops called on the two to halt and aimed their weapons at them, at which point the two dropped two knives they were carrying. They were arrested without shots being fired.

Security forces were searching for the car, which fled the scene.

The Etzion Junction has seen a spate of attacks, many targeting soldiers stationed at the intersection. In November 2015, American teen Ezra Schwartz was killed in a terror attack at the site, along with Israeli teacher Yaakov Don and Hebron resident Shaadi Arfa. That month, Hadar Buchris, 21, was also stabbed to death at the site, which has been bolstered by a massive army presence in recent months.

The Sha’ar Binyamin industrial park was the site of an attack at a supermarket last month in which Tuvia Yanai Weissman, 21, was stabbed and killed by two 14-year-old assailants. A second man was seriously wounded.

Several Palestinian teenagers were caught with knives in suspected attempted stabbings this week. On Wednesday Border Police officers arrested a 14-year-old boy at the entrance to the Shuafat refugee camp in Jerusalem after finding a knife in his possession. The youth told investigators he planned to carry out a terror attack, the Border Police said.

On Tuesday Border Police arrested a 17-year-old Palestinian girl with a large kitchen knife in her bag near a heavily guarded junction south of Nablus — the site of several terror attacks during the current wave of violence which started in September. They had received intelligence that a young woman had left her home in the Jenin area with the intention of carrying out an attack, a police spokesperson said.

On Monday four Israeli soldiers were lightly wounded in two shooting and car-ramming attacks outside the West Bank settlement of Kiryat Arba, next to Hebron.

In the first incident two Palestinians plowed into a hitchhiking post at the Elias Junction with a car, emerged from the vehicle, and opened fire. One soldier was lightly hurt by gunfire. Troops at the scene opened fire on the attackers and killed them.

Several minutes later, a second Palestinian vehicle plowed into soldiers at the scene of the first attack, lightly wounding one, the IDF said. The driver was also shot dead.

Video taken from inside a bus at the scene appeared to show soldiers responding to the first attack:

In addition, two soldiers were very lightly hurt by shrapnel and cuts and bruises, bringing the total number of wounded to four, an IDF spokesperson said.

Twenty-nine Israelis and four foreign nationals have been killed in Palestinian terrorism and violence since October. Some 190 Palestinians have been killed, around two-thirds of them while attacking Israelis, and the rest during clashes with troops, according to the Israeli army.

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