Israeli troops raid home of terrorist who stabbed security guard
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Israeli troops raid home of terrorist who stabbed security guard

Clashes break out as soldiers descend on slain assailant's house in Halhul, north of Hebron, interrogate his family

Judah Ari Gross is The Times of Israel's military correspondent.

Israeli troops walk through the Palestinian town of Halhul, north of Hebron, after a resident stabbed a security guard in a terror attack at a nearby settlement on February 7, 2018. (Israel Defense Forces)
Israeli troops walk through the Palestinian town of Halhul, north of Hebron, after a resident stabbed a security guard in a terror attack at a nearby settlement on February 7, 2018. (Israel Defense Forces)

Clashes broke out between Palestinians and Israeli soldiers in the southern West Bank town of Halhul on Wednesday, as troops raided the home of a terrorist who stabbed a security guard and then was shot dead earlier that morning.

“As they entered [Halhul], a riot broke out in which rocks were thrown at the soldiers. The IDF troops responded with riot dispersal means and arrested one of the demonstrators,” the Israel Defense Forces said in a statement.

“The forces arrived at the home of the terrorist and interrogated members of his family,” the army said.

Israeli troops walk through the Palestinian town of Halhul, north of Hebron, after a resident stabbed a security guard in a terror attack at a nearby settlement on February 7, 2018. (Israel Defense Forces)

Early Wednesday morning, Hamzeh Yousef Zamaareh, 19, stabbed a civilian security guard in the palm of the hand in a guard post at the entrance to the Karmei Tzur settlement, just outside Halhul in the Etzion bloc.

A second guard shot the assailant and killed him, according to the Israel Defense Forces.

The wounded guard, a 34-year-old man, was treated at the scene by Magen David Adom medics and taken to Jerusalem’s Hadassah Hospital Ein Kerem while fully conscious.

Dr. Ram Moshayov, head of the hospital’s orthopedic trauma center, said the guard was undergoing testing in order to determine if he would retain full function of his hand.

The knife used in a stabbing attack at the entrance to the Israeli settlement of Karmei Tzur, south of Jerusalem, on February 7, 2018. (Israel Defense Forces)

“The terrorist stabbed him in the palm of the hand. Other than that, he’s perfectly healthy,” Moshayov said. “I’m optimistic about his hand. His nerves are functioning, but we’re still in the process of checking it out.”

Officials said the terrorist arrived at the scene with a car. Security forces were scanning the area.

On Monday a terrorist fatally stabbed 29-year-old Rabbi Itamar Ben-Gal outside the settlement of Ariel. Footage from Monday’s attack scene showed the suspect, 19-year-old Abed al-Karim Assi, crossing a road toward Ben-Gal, who was standing in front of a bus stop, and stabbing him. Ben-Gal then fled across the street with the stabber in pursuit.

Medics tried to resuscitate Ben-Gal, who was stabbed three times in the chest. He was taken to Beilinson Hospital in Petah Tikvah, but succumbed to his wounds. He was laid to rest in a cemetery in the Har Bracha settlement, where he lived with his family. He is survived by his wife and four children.

Israeli forces are still hunting for the killer.

Khaled Abu Toameh contributed to this report.

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