Border Police officer lightly hurt in West Bank stabbing
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Border Police officer lightly hurt in West Bank stabbing

Security forces searching for Palestinian attacker who fled after ambushing police officers close to Jerusalem

Illustrative photo of border police near the West Bank village of Bidu and the security barrier. (David Furst Flash90)
Illustrative photo of border police near the West Bank village of Bidu and the security barrier. (David Furst Flash90)

A Palestinian armed with a knife stabbed and lightly wounded a Border Police officer Saturday morning in the northern West Bank.

The attacker fled the scene, sparking a massive manhunt by Israeli security forces.

The attack took place as police were opening an access road running along the security fence between Israel and the West Bank, close to the settlement of Har Adar — about 6 miles (10 km) from Jerusalem.

According to Channel 2 television, the Palestinian was hiding in nearby foliage and ambushed the police officers as they approached. He then fled in the direction of the nearby village of Bayt Surik after stabbing one of the officers in the shoulder.

The policeman was given emergency treatment at the scene and then taken to Hadassah Hospital Ein Kerem in Jerusalem, where he was treated for minor injuries. He was released from hospital several hours later.

The stabbing comes less than a week after two Israelis were killed in a shooting attack in the Ammunition Hill area of Jerusalem.

Just after 10 a.m. on Sunday, Mesbah Abu Sabih, a 39-year-old resident of Silwan in East Jerusalem, drove to the local light rail station and opened fire on a group of civilians, hitting one person. The terrorist sped off toward Charles Simon Clermont-Ganneau Street, where he shot 60-year-old Levana Malihi in her car, fatally wounding her.

The gunman then shot and wounded two officers from the Israel Police’s Special Patrol Unit. One of the two, First Sergeant Yosef Kirma, later succumbed to his injuries. The other officer was moderately wounded.

Five people in total were injured in the attack, which lasted approximately four minutes. The terrorist was shot and killed by security forces.

Sunday’s attack broke a spell of calm in the capital that followed a months-long wave of violence last autumn and winter that included several attacks near Ammunition Hill.

Officials had feared a return to stabbing, shooting and car-ramming attacks with the onset of the fall holiday season, when religious tensions often spike.

October 2015 marked the start of several months of near-daily attacks during which at least 34 Israelis and over 200 Palestinians were killed in a spate of attacks. Most of the Palestinians killed were attackers or involved in clashes with troops.

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