IDF: Palestinian attempts to stab troops near Ariel, is shot dead

Military says suspect tried to stab a soldier and her commander multiple times in attack outside northern West Bank settlement

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

Israeli soldiers surround a Palestinian man suspected of trying to stab them in the northern West Bank on January 26, 2021. (Screen capture)
Israeli soldiers surround a Palestinian man suspected of trying to stab them in the northern West Bank on January 26, 2021. (Screen capture)

Israeli soldiers shot dead a Palestinian man who tried to stab them along a road in the northern West Bank on Tuesday, the Israel Defense Forces said.

According to the military, the suspect attacked a soldier and her commander as they were guarding the Giti Evyashar junction near the Ariel settlement.

“The soldier physically pushed the assailant away after he tried to stab her a number of times and the commander who was at the scene opened fire at him and neutralized him,” the IDF said.

A military spokesperson clarified that the assailant was pronounced dead.

No Israeli soldiers were injured in the attack, according to the IDF.

Images from the scene, which were shared on social media, showed at least four soldiers surrounding the suspect, who lay prone on the ground. A knife was seen on the ground nearby.

The soldiers were members of the mixed-gender Ram Battalion of the IDF Home Front Command.

Yossi Dagan, the head of the local Samaria Regional Council, said the soldier involved in the incident was a new immigrant from the United Kingdom, who had moved to Israel without her family.

Dagan noted that the attack on the soldiers came a day after a resident of the Har Bracha settlement in the northern West Bank was attacked by Palestinians near the village of Burin while he was jogging. The man was taken to Meir hospital in Kfar Saba with mild injuries, according to Magen David Adom.

There were no immediate arrests announced following the Monday assault. The Palestinian news site Ma’an reported that Israeli troops had placed roadblocks nearby and were preventing residents from entering or leaving the village.

Palestinians in Burin were subject to an alleged stone-throwing attack by settlers on Saturday from the nearby outpost of Givat Ronen. In a video widely circulated on social media, so-called hilltop youth can be seen hurling rocks as Israeli soldiers apparently stand by. A spokesperson for the Israel Police’s West Bank division told The Times of Israel that one Jewish suspect had been arrested in connection with the stone-throwing. The suspect was later conditionally released.

Esther Horgen, 52, who was found dead in the northern West Bank in a suspected terror attack on December 20, 2020. (Courtesy)

The incidents come a month after Esther Horgen, 52, a mother of six, was murdered after she went for a run in the Reihan forest near her home in the settlement of Tal Menashe. A Palestinian man suspected of the murder has been arrested.

The West Bank has also seen a notable increase in ultranationalist violence against Palestinians after 16-year-old Ahuvia Sandak was killed in a police chase after allegedly hurling stones at Palestinians in late December.

Sandak, a resident of the Bat Ayin settlement, was fleeing Border Police in a car with four other hilltop youths when his car flipped over, killing him.

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