A Palestinian man was arrested Monday after attempting to stab an Israeli police officer at Hebron’s Tomb of the Patriarchs holy site, police said.
“A short time ago an apparent terrorist attempted to stab a Border Police officer of the Israel Police during a security check at one of the security posts at the Tomb of the Patriarchs in Hebron,” the police statement said.
The suspected assailant was quickly apprehended by other officers.
“It appears no harm came to our forces and the assailant was arrested without shots being fired,” the statement added.
A video of the incident, which was later released by the police, shows the man brandishing a large kitchen knife, repeatedly trying to stab the Border Police officer. The border guard grapples with the assailant, who tries to run out the front door.
In a recorded statement, the Border Police officer, Staff Sgt. Shadi Kheir, says he had patted down the assailant and did not initially find the knife on him, but suspected that the man may have been hiding something as he was trembling nervously during the check.
When Kheir brought the assailant into the security post and as he was bringing him into a room for a more thorough inspection, the Palestinian man brought out the knife and tried to stab him. During the attack, the knife broke out, allowing Kheir an opportunity to wrestle the man to the ground.
“I used all my strength, holding him, and that’s how we thwarted a terror attack in the entrance to the Tomb of the Patriarchs,” Kheir said.
The Hebron holy site, believed to be the burial location of the biblical patriarchs and matriarchs, with the exception of Rachel, has long been a flashpoint for violence.
The incident comes with tensions running high over vehement Palestinian opposition to the Trump peace plan and Israeli politicians’ calls for the annexation of large swaths of the West Bank.