Ax-wielding Palestinian attacks soldier in West Bank, is shot dead

In separate incident, two 12-year-old Palestinian kids arrested with knives in Jerusalem, are suspected of planning an attack

The ax a Palestinian used to attack an IDF soldier in the West Bank on April 14, 2016 (IDF spokesperson's office)
The ax a Palestinian used to attack an IDF soldier in the West Bank on April 14, 2016 (IDF spokesperson's office)

A Palestinian man attacked an IDF soldier in the West Bank with an ax on Thursday, before troops shot and killed him, the army said.

The assailant was shot by soldiers at the scene of the incident, near the Al-Aroub refugee camp north of Hebron. The IDF confirmed the attacker later died of his injuries.

The attacker was identified as Ibrahim Brad’aih, 54, a resident of Al-Aroub, according to Hebrew media reports.

The ax apparently hit the soldier in the helmet and he was unharmed, according to unconfirmed accounts of the incident.

Earlier, two 12-year-old Palestinian boys were arrested in Jerusalem’s Old City after police discovered three knives concealed in one of their coats.

The Israel Police said it appeared the children were planning to carry out a stabbing attack. They were stopped for inspection after they raised the suspicions of policemen at the scene.

The kids are residents of the West Bank, and were detained near the Temple Mount, according to the Ynet news website.

The children were also found to be carrying a goodbye letter to their parents.

Earlier this week, the prison service said it has approved the early release of a 12-year-old Palestinian girl who confessed to planning to carry out a stabbing attack in a West Bank settlement. Prison service spokesman Assaf Librati said Monday that authorities have decided to release the girl on April 24 — six weeks before her scheduled release. He said the decision was made because of her “young age.”

In the past six months since a wave of attacks began in October 2015, 29 Israelis and four foreign nationals have been killed. Nearly 200 Palestinians have also been killed, some two-thirds of them while attacking Israelis, and the rest during clashes with troops, according to the Israeli army. Many of the attacks were carried out by Palestinian minors.

The number of attacks, however, appeared to be declining considerably in the past month.

Terrorist attacks carried out in Israeli-controlled areas in March decreased by 26 percent over February, making last month’s tally of 123 incidents the lowest recorded since July.

On Friday, the Israel Police said it arrested a 25-year-old Palestinian man outside Jerusalem’s Damascus Gate who was carrying a large knife in his bag. The Palestinian, a resident of the West Bank in Israel illegally, was brought in for questioning, where he told police he bought the knife and came to the area to carry out a stabbing attack on Israelis.

AP and JTA contributed to this report.

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