IDF soldiers foil attempted West Bank stabbing

Two men pull knife on troops near Yakir settlement, forces overpower attackers, detain them

Illustrative photo of the IDF in the West Bank. June 19, 2014. (photo credit: AP/Majdi Mohammed)
Illustrative photo of the IDF in the West Bank. June 19, 2014. (photo credit: AP/Majdi Mohammed)

Two Palestinians attempted to stab IDF soldiers in the West Bank on Sunday night but were overpowered and detained for questioning.

The military said in a statement that the two suspects approached an IDF force near the settlement of Yakir in the northern West Bank.

One of the men pulled out a knife and the force “neutralized the assailant.” The other fled the scene but was later caught by IDF forces. Both men were then detained for questioning.

There were no reports of injuries to the IDF force and it was not clear if either of the suspects were injured in the clash.

The attack came the day after a 16-year-old Palestinian youth tried to stab an Israeli soldier at a checkpoint between Jerusalem and the West Bank city of Hebron.

In that incident the assailant pulled out a knife and made for the soldier, a military policeman, before being overpowered and arrested. He was taken by security forces for questioning. There were no reported injuries in the incident.

Last week, a Palestinian man stabbed an Israeli Border Police officer in Hebron, inflicting moderate injuries. The attacker, aged 20, was shot and wounded, and died of his injuries on the way to a hospital in Jerusalem.

Police said the officer, 19, was stabbed multiple times in the head, neck and chest at an army checkpoint near Hebron’s Tomb of the Patriarchs. A second soldier shot the attacker.

Palestinian media named the suspected attacker as Assad al-Salayma.

That incident was the second of its kind in less than 24 hours.

Overnight Friday-Saturday last week, Ali Mohammed Ali Said Abu Ghannam, a 16-year-old Palestinian resident of East Jerusalem, allegedly attempted to stab a Israeli soldier.

IDF soldiers shot and killed Abu Ghannam after the teenager attempted to stab a border police officer with a butcher’s knife at a checkpoint on the road between Jerusalem and the West Bank settlement of Ma’ale Adumim, according to security officials.

The shootings sparked violent but short-lived protests in the West Bank.

AFP contributed to this report.

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