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IDF says stabbing attack thwarted in West Bank; Palestinian assailant killed

Suspect attempts to ram, then stab soldier stationed at post near West Bank settlement of Ofra, according to military

Soldiers stand by the scene of the suspected car-ramming and stabbing attack near a military post near Ofra in the West Bank on May 14, 2021. (Courtesy / Ofra Youth)
Soldiers stand by the scene of the suspected car-ramming and stabbing attack near a military post near Ofra in the West Bank on May 14, 2021. (Courtesy / Ofra Youth)

The Israel Defense Forces said Friday that forces shot and killed a Palestinian assailant who attempted to attack a soldier at the entrance to a military post near the West Bank settlement of Ofra, north of Ramallah.

There were no reports of Israelis hurt in the incident.

The suspect first attempted to ram the soldier stationed at the military post with his vehicle, and then got out and tried to stab him, the military said.

“The soldier opened fire and neutralized the threat,” the IDF said in a statement.

Footage from the scene, as well as a statement from the Palestinian Authority health ministry, confirmed that the suspect had been killed.

Sources at the scene told The Times of Israel the assailant attempted the stabbing with a screwdriver.

Unrest has boiled over in the West Bank, Gaza and Israel over the past week after tensions were growing for weeks.

On Wednesday, a Palestinian man tried to stab Israeli soldiers at a checkpoint in the southern West Bank city of Hebron and was shot by troops at the scene.

Soldiers stand by the scene of the suspected car-ramming and stabbing attack near a military post near Ofra in the West Bank on May 14, 2021. (Courtesy / Ofra Youth)

The army on Tuesday said a would-be Palestinian gunman was killed and another was seriously injured after pulling a weapon on troops at Tapuah Junction. But according to Army Radio, the incident was a case of mistaken identity and it remains unclear whether the Palestinians were armed. Both were members of Palestinian intelligence services, a Palestinian security source told AFP, without giving further details.

Last Friday, three Palestinians opened fire toward a Border Police base in Israeli territory near the northern West Bank, with two of the attackers killed and one wounded when officers on the scene returned fire. The assailants were believed to be headed toward Jerusalem to carry out a terror attack in the city but were halted by Israeli security forces.

Earlier this month, a Palestinian terrorist opened fire toward Israeli civilians at the Tapuah Junction in the West Bank, resulting in the death of 19-year-old yeshiva student Yehuda Guetta and in the injury of two others.

The attack on Friday came amid renewed fighting between Israel and Gaza terror groups, with some 2,000 rockets fired from the enclave since Monday night, killing nine in Israel. The IDF has responded with airstrikes on Gaza, which have killed 119 according to the Hamas-run health ministry

Hundreds of the projectiles fired from Gaza have been intercepted by Iron Dome missile defense batteries, according to the military, which refuses to give precise statistics on the matter as they could be used by terror groups to find ways to outmaneuver the system.

Israeli soldiers at a staging area near the Israeli border with Gaza, amid the escalation of Palestinian and Israeli violence. May 14, 2021. (Yonatan Sindel/FLASH90)

Palestinian terror groups have tied the attacks and escalation in Gaza to the unrest in Jerusalem, connected to the situation on the Temple Mount during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan and the pending eviction of a number of Palestinian families from their homes in East Jerusalem’s Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood.

Judah Ari Gross contributed to this report.

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