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Army nabs would-be stabber at Bethlehem checkpoint

Border Police arrest 36-year-old woman with knife, cops say she confessed to planning to carry out attack in Jerusalem

Illustrative image of Palestinians crossing the Bethlehem checkpoint, on June 23, 2017. (Wisam Hashlamoun/FLASH90)
Illustrative image of Palestinians crossing the Bethlehem checkpoint, on June 23, 2017. (Wisam Hashlamoun/FLASH90)

A Palestinian woman was detained Wednesday while trying to cross a West Bank checkpoint with a knife, apparently while on her way to carry out a stabbing attack in Jerusalem.

Border police officers who searched the 36-year-old at the crossing near the city of Bethlehem found the weapon during a search, police said.

The woman, from the town of Yatta, near Hebron, was taken for questioning, where she reportedly told investigators she wanted to carry out a stabbing attack in Jerusalem.

Nobody was injured during the incident, which came less than two weeks after three Palestinian men carried out an attack in the Old City of Jerusalem that killed a Border Police officer, 23-year-old Hadas Malka.

Since September 2015, some 43 Israelis, two visiting Americans, an Eritrean national, a Palestinian man and a British student have been killed in stabbing, shooting and vehicular attacks by Palestinian assailants. In that time, more than 270 Palestinians were killed by Israeli fire, a majority of them attackers, according to authorities.

The spate of Palestinian attacks that began in October 2015 was dubbed the “lone wolf” intifada, as many of the attacks were carried out by individuals who were not connected to any terror group. Israeli security officials say that many of the attacks, particularly those that are carried out by women, were attempts at suicide by soldier.

The Israeli government has blamed the terror activity on incitement by Palestinian political and religious leaders compounded on social media sites that glorify violence and encourage attacks.

Judah Ari Gross contributed to this report.

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