Condition of IDF reservist stabbed in face during terror attack improves

Soldier undergoes surgery overnight, will stay in the hospital for next few days

Illustrative: A victim of a West Bank stabbing attack arrives at Beilinson Hospital in Petah Tikva on December 24, 2015. (Magen David Adom)
Illustrative: A victim of a West Bank stabbing attack arrives at Beilinson Hospital in Petah Tikva on December 24, 2015. (Magen David Adom)

A 30-year-old reservist soldier who was stabbed by a Palestinian assailant in the northern West Bank on Thursday has seen his condition improve, doctors at Beilinson Hospital in Petah Tikva said Friday.

The soldier is in stable condition after undergoing facial surgery late Thursday. He will remain in hospital for a few more days of observation, the hospital said.

The soldier was one of two people hurt in the stabbing attack outside an army base on Thursday afternoon.

He was moderately hurt, sustaining stab wounds to the face and upper body. A civilian woman, 26, was lightly injured in the leg by shrapnel from shots fired at the assailant who fled the scene.

IDF troops aided by Shin Bet and Border Police forces captured the suspected assailant, a 19-year-old Palestinian from the northern West Bank village of Jamma’in, just hours after the attack.

The stabbing occurred just after 1:30 p.m. Thursday outside the Shomron Regional Brigade headquarters near the Itamar settlement, the Israel Defense Forces said. Other IDF soldiers on the scene opened fire at the assailant.

The stabber may have fled in a waiting car nearby, Hadashot TV news said.

The scene of a stabbing attack in the northern West Bank on October 11, 2018. (Courtesy)

The two victims were taken to Beilinson Hospital for treatment.

On Sunday, a Palestinian terrorist shot and killed two of his coworkers — Kim Levengrond Yehezkel and Ziv Hajbi — and wounded a third, Sara Vaturi, in the northern West Bank’s Barkan Industrial Park where he was employed.

The suspect, Ashraf Na’alowa, fled the scene and has eluded capture, according to the Israeli military. The hunt for the suspected terrorist entered its sixth day Friday.

On Thursday, Na’alowa’s sister Fayrouz was arrested at her home in the West Bank city of Nablus in connection with the manhunt for her brother, the Shin Bet said. Fayrouz had previously been questioned by Israeli forces, but was released. Na’alowa’s brother was arrested the day after the attack.

Ashraf Walid Suleiman Na’alowa, a Palestinian man suspected of carrying out a deadly terror attack on October 7, 2018 in the Barkan Industrial Zone in the northern West Bank. (Courtesy).

The Shin Bet refused to say on what grounds Fayrouz was arrested. Na’alowa’s mother and other sisters were also detained and brought in for questioning following the attack, but were later released.

Officials reportedly believe that Na’alowa, who is said to have left a suicide note before the attack, is preparing to engage troops when they close in on him in a firefight that could turn deadly.

Times of Israel staff contributed to this report.

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