A Palestinian terrorist stabbed three Israeli men after climbing over the perimeter fence in the West Bank settlement of Adam, northeast of Jerusalem, on Thursday night, the military said.
Magen David Adom medics treated a 31-year-old man who was critically injured, a 58-year-old man in serious condition, and a third male victim who was lightly injured.
The terrorist was shot dead at the scene, an Israel Defense Forces spokesperson said. Military sources said that he was shot at point-blank range by the lightly wounded victim, who had approached the scene thinking it was a fight and was stabbed.
The critically and seriously wounded men were evacuated to the Hadassah Mount Scopus Hospital in Jerusalem, while the lightly wounded man was taken to Shaare Zedek Medical Center, also in the capital.
The regional council spokesman said the terrorist climbed over Adam’s security fence. He then walked deeper into the settlement, crossing a playground area, where he encountered the 31-year-old resident, and stabbed him repeatedly in the upper torso. A second resident, the 58-year-old, came out of a nearby home and was also stabbed. A third resident, hearing the disturbance, went outside and, realizing that an attack was occurring, shot the Palestinian terrorist three times, killing him.
Residents were initially ordered by local authorities to remain in their homes, lock their doors and shut their windows following the attack, but were allowed out after security forces ruled that the incident was over. Eyewitnesses had seen a suspicious vehicle leaving the settlement shortly after the attack, raising suspicions of an accomplice.
IDF spokesman Jonathan Conricus said the army was sending reinforcements to the area in the form of two brigades and would be operating in nearby Palestinian villages for fear of copycat attacks.
Military sources said the terrorist was 17 years old and hailed from the nearby village of Kobar. Palestinian reports named him as Mohammad Tareq Yousef. An hour before the attack, Yousef published a lengthy Facebook post condemning Israeli actions in Gaza and the West Bank, and declaring that “the time has come for a great revolt.”
In the hours after the attack, the post was being widely shared and praised by Palestinian users of the social network.
The terrorist encountered two Bedouin en route to his attack, and told him he was about to carry it out, Hadashot TV reported late Thursday. The Bedouin hurried to the settlement to alert the authorities there, but were too late to prevent the attack, the report said.
MDA paramedic Orel Asulin said there was a “large commotion” at the scene when medics first arrived.
“Two men aged about 50 and 30 lay on the road in serious condition, suffering stab wounds in their upper bodies,” he said. “We provided them with life-saving first aid and they were quickly taken to the hospital. During the evacuation, the condition of one of the victims deteriorated and he required resuscitation.
“Afterward, a fully conscious 50-year-old man approached us, suffering a stab wound in his limbs,” Asulin added. “We treated him at the scene and he was also taken to a hospital in light condition, along with another anxiety victim.”
The moderately wounded man is in stable condition and fully conscious, Hadassah Hospital said.
“Every so often we get a reminder that we are still fighting for our home,” Avi Roeh, head of the Binyamin Regional Council, said in a statement.
“We are talking about an urban community that is large, established and very close to Jerusalem, not some small and distant community. But we will continue to develop and enhance the settlement movement,” he vowed.
The Palestinian terror group Hamas praised the attack, with the group’s spokesman Abdelatif al-Qanou writing on Facebook: “Hamas blesses the heroic stabbing operation that was carried out in the Adam settlement, south of Ramallah. It is a natural response to the occupation’s crimes and an extension of our people’s ongoing intifada.”
Attempted attacks by Palestinians throughout the West Bank have decreased in the past year after near-daily occurrences during the so-called “knife intifada,” which began in September 2015.
The spate of Palestinian terror incidents, including many stabbings and car-rammings, was also dubbed the “lone wolf” intifada, as many of the attacks were carried out by individuals who were not affiliated with terror groups.
Adam Rasgon and Times of Israel staff contributed to this report.