Palestinian teen arrested with knife near Hebron; shots fired at Tulkarem checkpoint

Incident in Kiryat Arba comes as thousands of Jewish pilgrims arrive to spend Shabbat in biblically resonant West Bank city

Emanuel (Mannie) Fabian is The Times of Israel's military correspondent

Israeli soldiers arrest a Palestinian teen carrying a knife near Hebron, Novemer 18, 2022. (Rescuers Without Borders)
Israeli soldiers arrest a Palestinian teen carrying a knife near Hebron, Novemer 18, 2022. (Rescuers Without Borders)

A Palestinian teenager was arrested with a knife near the West Bank city of Hebron on Friday morning as thousands of Jewish Israelis arrived to spend the weekend for an annual pilgrimage tradition.

The Israel Defense Forces said the 14-year-old was spotted by troops and a civilian guard who were conducting a routine patrol at an intersection that connects the Route 60 highway to the entrance of the settlement of Kiryat Arba.

The forces frisked the teen and found a knife, the IDF said.

The army added that “no stabbing attack was carried out and the young Palestinian was arrested without a shot being fired.”

Surveillance camera footage (below) showed the moment the teen was arrested.

The incident came as thousands of Jewish Israelis are to spend Shabbat in Hebron, west of Kiryat Arba, and visit the Tomb of the Patriarchs. Hebron, uniquely, is under shared Israeli-Palestinian control, with the Palestinian Authority responsible for some 80% of the city, and Israel the other 20%, where hundreds of Jewish settlers live in several enclaves.

Massive crowds are expected to mark the yearly Torah reading of the biblical Abraham’s purchase of the Hebron site to bury his wife, the matriarch Sarah.

In a separate incident early Friday, the IDF said Palestinian gunmen opened fire at a checkpoint near the West Bank city of Tulkarem.

The army said no soldiers were hurt in the attack on the checkpoint and that several shell casings were found during searches of the area.

In recent months, Palestinian gunmen have repeatedly targeted troops operating in the West Bank, as well as military posts, troops operating along the West Bank security barrier, Israeli settlements, and civilians on the roads.

In overnight raids across the West Bank, three wanted suspects were arrested and a handgun was seized, the IDF said.

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