In second attack Saturday, Israeli policeman stabbed in West Bank

Border Police officer lightly wounded, teen assailant killed, in attack near Tapuah Junction, hours after soldier injured in similar incident on Route 443

Israeli border policemen standing guard, on April 27, 2015. (Hadas Parush/Flash90)
Israeli border policemen standing guard, on April 27, 2015. (Hadas Parush/Flash90)

A Border Police officer was lightly wounded on Saturday when stabbed by a Palestinian man near Tapuah Junction in the northern West Bank.

Troops were conducting a routine security check on a Palestinian man at the Beita Junction, near the West Bank village of Hawara, when he pulled out a knife and stabbed one of the officers in the back, a Border Police spokesman said.

Troops at the scene opened fire on the attacker, named by the Palestinian Ma’an news agency as Rafik Kamal al-Taj, a 16-year-old resident of Beita, near Hawara. He was critically wounded and later died of his wounds. (A Channel 2 report earlier named the attacker as Ahmed Kamal al-Taj.)

The spokesman said the injured officer received medical treatment at the scene before being transferred hospital.

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A tweet sent out by Army Radio showed a picture of the knife used in the incident.

The attack came hours after an Israel Defense Forces soldier was lightly wounded in a knife attack by a Palestinian man at the Ofer checkpoint in the West Bank, north of Jerusalem.

The attacker was shot and wounded at the scene.

The IDF said that the soldier was stabbed at a checkpoint on Route 443 — a central highway connecting Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, which partially runs through the West Bank.

The attack began when the assailant, Nasim Yusef Gomhur, 19, from the village of Beit ‘Anan in the Ramallah area, asked for some water and when the soldier turned to get some, Gomhur lunged.

An initial investigation showed that he reached the checkpoint from west of the Beit Horon settlement, Channel 10 reported.

The soldier was taken by military vehicle to hospital.

Israel’s Ynet news website said Gomhur told Israeli security officials that he had decided to carry out the attack on the soldier after his father hit him during an argument.

The two incidents Saturday were the latest in a string of attacks on Israeli soldiers and civilians in the West Bank. Last week, three soldiers were wounded when a Palestinian plowed his car into them while they were on a foot patrol in the northern West Bank.

Days later, an Israeli civilian was stabbed and moderately wounded in an attack by a group of Palestinians at a gas station on Route 443. And on Friday evening, a gas station was set alight on Route 60, near the West Bank settlement of Eli, by unknown assailants who fled the scene.

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