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Border guards arrest Palestinian teen who threw firebomb at Rachel’s Tomb

Suspect nabbed after a foot chase in the al-Ayda refugee camp, near Bethlehem holy site; incident comes amid uptick in violence in the West Bank

Judah Ari Gross is The Times of Israel's military correspondent.

Rachel's Tomb in Bethlehem (Courtesy)
Rachel's Tomb in Bethlehem (Courtesy)

Border guards arrested a Palestinian teenager Sunday night after he threw a Molotov cocktail at the Rachel’s Tomb pilgrimage site in the central West Bank city of Bethlehem, the police said.

The suspect, 17, was caught after a brief foot chase, hiding in a grocery store in the nearby al-Ayda refugee camp, according to police.

The firebomb attack, which resulted in neither injury nor damage, came amid an uptick in violence in the West Bank in recent weeks, including a deadly terror attack in which an Israeli woman was murdered, numerous cases of Palestinians throwing rocks at Israeli cars, and several attacks by Israeli settlers against Palestinian civilians and Israeli security forces.

Police said officers saw the suspect, a resident of al-Ayda, throw the Molotov cocktail at the Rachel’s Tomb site, a heavily fortified compound that has seen regular attacks by Palestinians over the years.

“Officers from the Jerusalem area Border Police conducted a foot chase after the suspect, which ended with him being arrested in the al-Ayda refugee camp as he was hiding out in a food store,” police said.

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