Border Police arrested a Palestinian man in the West Bank city of Hebron on Monday, after finding a knife hidden under his clothes at the entrance to the Tomb of the Patriarchs holy site.
Officers asked the man, in his 30s, to walk through a metal detector upon his arrival at the checkpoint. While the device did not sound an alarm, the statement from Border Police said the security forces still suspected the Palestinian and conducted a full body search.
“An initial investigation revealed that the suspect was apparently intending to carry out a stabbing attack,” Border Police said.
The Palestinian, said to be from the nearby village of Dura, was detained and transferred for questioning.
“Beyond the technological means at the disposal of the soldiers in their missions, there is no substitute for the professionalism and alertness of the fighters, who once again managed to prevent an attack and thereby save lives,” the Border Police statement concluded.
The Tomb of the Patriarchs is a frequent target for stabbing attacks.
Last Friday, Border Police arrested a Palestinian woman in her 30s, after finding two knives, during a search of her bag at a checkpoint near the holy site.
Another Palestinian teen was arrested trying to enter the holy site with a knife in December; and in November, two 17-year-old Palestinians were also detained, after each attempted to smuggle a knife into the site, in two separate incidents a day apart.