Palestinian with knife stopped at Hebron checkpoint
Soldiers detain man after he tries to hide blade, in second such incident of the day in the West Bank city
Jacob Magid is The Times of Israel's US bureau chief
A Palestinian man was arrested on Thursday at a checkpoint in Hebron after he was found to be carrying a knife, police said, in the second such incident of the day in the flashpoint West Bank city.
Security forces outside the Tomb of the Patriarchs asked the suspect, a 20-year-old resident of the area, to place his personal belongings on a table, police said.
After they noticed him trying to hide a knife, they detained him for questioning.
Earlier Thursday, a Palestinian man was arrested approaching a Border Police roadblock at an entrance to the city with a concealed knife, police said in a statement.
When officers called on the man to stop for a security check, he discarded the knife, which he had been carrying in his sock, Israel Police spokeswoman Luba Samri said.
The suspect, a resident of a nearby Palestinian village said to be in his 30s, was taken in for questioning.
On Wednesday evening, also in Hebron, IDF soldiers shot and killed a Palestinian man who opened fire on the forces.
The soldiers were carrying out searches for illegal weapons when they encountered the man. “In response to the immediate threat, forces fired toward him, killing him,” the army said in a statement.
Hebron was at the center of a wave of Palestinian attacks that began in October 2015 and have since largely tapered off, and has widely been dubbed the “lone wolf” intifada, as many of the attacks were carried out by individuals unaffiliated with any terror group. Israeli security officials say that many of the attacks, particularly those carried out by women, were also suicide attempts.
Since September 2015, some 43 Israelis, two visiting Americans, an Eritrean national, a Palestinian man and a British student have been killed in stabbing, shooting and vehicular attacks by Palestinian assailants. In that time, more than 270 Palestinians were killed by Israeli fire, a majority of them attackers, according to authorities.
Hebron is the West Bank’s most populous city, holy to Muslims and Jews. Some 500 nationalist Israeli settlers live in fortified compounds heavily guarded by the IDF in the midst of 200,000 Palestinian inhabitants whose movements are heavily restricted.