Border police officer stabbed in West Bank, attacker killed

25-year-old Muhammad Bassam Abu-Amsha el Atrache pulls out knife after asking for water at Tapuah Junction, according to initial report; knifing is third such incident since Saturday

Illustrative photo of Border Police officers at the Tapuah Junction near Nablus, August 15, 2015. (Flash90)
Illustrative photo of Border Police officers at the Tapuah Junction near Nablus, August 15, 2015. (Flash90)

A Palestinian man stabbed a border policeman at the Tapuah Junction checkpoint in the West Bank on Monday, lightly injuring him, in the third such attack in three days.

A fellow border policeman at the scene shot and killed the assailant.

The terrorist was later named as Muhammad Bassam Abu-Amsha el Atrache, 22. He was a resident of Kafr Rai, south of Jenin.

According to initial reports, Atrache approached the security personnel at the checkpoint south of Nablus and said that he was not feeling well and asked for water.

When the soldiers indicated that he could come closer, he pulled out a knife and attacked them.

“The officer was lightly injured and managed to fight off the assailant. The forces on site responded immediately, firing towards the attacker,” the IDF said in a statement.

The attack came two days after a Border Police officer was lightly wounded on Saturday when he was stabbed by a Palestinian man near the same junction. In that incident as well, the assailant was shot and killed.

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Troops were conducting a routine security check on a Palestinian man at the Beita Junction, near the West Bank village of Hawara, when he pulled out a knife and stabbed one of the officers in the back, a Border Police spokesman said at the time.

That attack came hours after an Israel Defense Forces soldier was lightly wounded in a knife attack by a Palestinian man at the Ofer checkpoint in the West Bank, north of Jerusalem. The attacker in that incident was shot and wounded at the scene.

The incidents were the latest in a string of attacks on Israeli soldiers and civilians in the West Bank over the last several weeks. Last week, three soldiers were wounded when a Palestinian plowed his car into them while they were on a foot patrol in the northern West Bank.

Days later, an Israeli civilian was stabbed and moderately wounded in an attack by a Palestinian man at a gas station on Route 443. And on Friday evening, a gas station was set alight on Route 60, near the West Bank settlement of Eli, by unknown assailants who fled the scene.

Israeli officials warned of a possible uptick in violence in the West Bank after the fatal firebombing of a Palestinian home, apparently by Jewish extremists, in late July.

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