IDF nabs another suspected accomplice in Friday’s stabbing attempt

Military says it arrested 2 men believed to have driven with assailant to bus stop outside Ariel settlement, where attacker was shot dead after trying to stab people

Judah Ari Gross is The Times of Israel's religions and Diaspora affairs correspondent.

Israeli security forces on Sunday morning arrested the second suspected accomplice of a Palestinian man who was shot dead after an attempted stabbing attack outside the Ariel settlement on Friday, the military said.

The suspect was arrested in the Palestinian village of Haris in the northern West Bank, not far from the site of the attempted stabbing, in the predawn hours of Sunday morning, the Israel Defense Forces said.

On Friday morning, the Palestinian attacker — Amir Atef Rayan, 37, from Qarawat Bani Hassan — got out of a car at Gitai Avishar Junction outside Ariel in the northern West Bank, armed with a knife, and approached a bus stop, where civilians and soldiers were standing.

Troops at the scene opened fire, fatally wounding Rayan, who was pronounced dead in a nearby hospital.

The military immediately launched a manhunt for the other people in the car that had transported Rayan to the scene. One suspect was arrested on Friday afternoon.

Overnight, Israeli forces arrested the second suspected accomplice in Haris, whom the IDF said was apparently the driver of the car.

A knife that the Israeli military says was used in an attempted stabbing attack at the Gitai Avishar Junction in the northern West Bank on December 31, 2021. (Israel Defense Forces)

The military said there were no further suspects on the loose.

Recent weeks have seen a marked rise in violence by Palestinians against Israeli civilians and soldiers in the West Bank and Jerusalem, including a deadly shooting attack earlier this month outside the illegal Homesh outpost.

The IDF has deployed additional soldiers to the area in an effort to prevent further attacks.

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