Palestinian teen pulls knife on soldiers, is arrested

Security forces apprehend 17-year-old on suspicion he tried to stab soldiers at Qalandiya checkpoint in the West Bank

Adiv Sterman is a breaking news editor at The Times of Israel.

Illustrative: Border Police at the Qalandiya checkpoint, October 23, 2012 (Oren Nahshon/Flash90)
Illustrative: Border Police at the Qalandiya checkpoint, October 23, 2012 (Oren Nahshon/Flash90)

A Palestinian teen was arrested Wednesday on suspicion that he had attempted to stab a soldier at the Qalandiya checkpoint near Jerusalem in the West Bank. There were no injuries in the incident.

During a routine army search on a bus at the checkpoint, the teenager was asked to show his identity card, and when he failed to do so, was requested to step out of the vehicle. At that point the 17-year-old pulled out a knife and tried to assault an IDF soldier, but the weapon fell from his hand, police said.

Soldiers subsequently apprehended the teenager, a resident of the West Bank city of Nablus, and transferred him to a nearby security facility for interrogation.

The IDF on Tuesday encouraged civilian security personnel in the West Bank to carry their weapons at all times, following a stabbing attack Monday in a Jewish settlement, when two terrorists climbed over the fence into Beit Horon, located on a major highway just outside Jerusalem. The pair stabbed two women, 23-year-old Shlomit Krigman, who died of her wounds on Tuesday, and a 58-year-old woman.

Following the attack, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu ordered the army Monday evening to prepare a wide-ranging plan to increase settlement security.

Tensions were already high in the West Bank following the fatal stabbing of Dafna Meir, a mother of six, in the Otniel settlement outside of Hebron on July 17, and the attack on Michal Froman, who was five months pregnant, in the Tekoa settlement the next day.

Following those attacks, the IDF limited the entrance of Palestinian workers into some Jewish communities in the West Bank. Palestinians were first barred from entering most Jewish settlements, but that restriction was eased on Sunday to allow workers to enter all settlements except for Otniel — and now Beit Horon, as well.

Private security personnel and civilian first response teams, who have ties to the IDF and receive rifles from the army, have also been put on high alert due to the string of attacks, the army said.

Judah Ari Gross contributed to this report.

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