2 Palestinians try to stab soldiers in West Bank, are killed

No troops hurt in attack close to Jordan Valley settlement of Beka’ot; Israel hands over their bodies hours later

Israeli soldiers at their base in the Jordan Valley (Yaakov Naumi/Flash90)
Israeli soldiers at their base in the Jordan Valley (Yaakov Naumi/Flash90)

Two Palestinians were shot dead attempting to stab IDF soldiers early Saturday morning in the Jordan Valley, the army said.

Both soldiers involved were uninjured in the incident near the West Bank settlement of Beka’ot, east of Nablus, Channel 2 television said.

The two attackers were later named as Muhammad Abu Mariam, 23, from the village of Jadida near Jenin, and Said Abu al-Wapu, 38, from Zawiya near Salfit, the Ynet news website reported.

The bodies of the two were handed over to the Palestinians later Saturday, the Ynet news website said.

The attack comes two days after the Shin Bet security service reported a considerable drop in the number of Palestinian attacks in December, in comparison to previous months.

The current round of violence hit its peak in October, with some 620 attacks, according to the Shin Bet. The vast majority of these were incidents of Molotov cocktails being thrown at cars and during violent protests. In November that figure came down to 326, and last month it went down even further, to 246, a 24.5 percent reduction, the Shin Bet revealed.

Also Thursday, four Palestinians were killed in two separate attempted stabbing attacks in the West Bank.

The IDF said that in the first incident, three assailants armed with knives, attempted to stab soldiers guarding the Gush Etzion Junction. The military confirmed that all three attackers had been killed. No one else was wounded in the incident.

Less than two hours later, further south, a fourth Palestinian was killed when he approached a group of soldiers at the Beit Anoun Junction outside of Hebron and attempted to stab one of them, the IDF said. As he was trying to attack the soldier, the other forces on the scene shot him dead.

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