Palestinian woman stopped at checkpoint, says she planned attack
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Palestinian woman stopped at checkpoint, says she planned attack

Suspect, 21, apprehended by security guards at the Qalandiya crossing, admits to wanting to stab Israelis

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 woman was detained by security personnel at a West Bank crossing on Thursday night on suspicion that she planned to carry out a stabbing attack, police said.

According to a police statement, the woman “raised the suspicions” of security guards at the Qalandiya checkpoint, who stopped the 21-year-old for questioning and a further search.

During the check, the woman “admitted that she planned to carry out an attack and had thrown [away] the knife,” police said.

A search of the area found the discarded knife nearby, and the woman was taken away for further questioning.

A knife found at the Qalandiya checkpoint, which police say a Palestinian woman intended to use to carry out a terror attack, on September 1, 2016. (Israel Police)
A knife found at the Qalandiya checkpoint, which police say a Palestinian woman intended to use to carry out a terror attack, on September 1, 2016. (Israel Police)

There have been other attempted stabbing attacks at the Qalandiya checkpoint a major crossing point between Jerusalem and the Qalandiya refugee camp north of the capital.

In July, police said security guards shot a Palestinian woman in the leg at the crossing after she charged at them and ignored calls to stop.

A police statement said a Palestinian woman, roughly 18 years old from the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Aqab, approached the checkpoint and walked into the inspection area for cars. She then ran at security guards “who told her to stop multiple times.”

When the woman ignored their warning, the guards shot at her legs, the statement said. The woman was lightly injured and Magen David Adom paramedics treated her at the scene.

A police bomb disposal expert was called in to check the woman’s bag, and found a knife inside.

The Qalandiya crossing has two approach lanes, one for pedestrians and the other for vehicles.

In April, a Palestinian brother and sister were shot dead by civilian security guards when they approached through the vehicular lane and didn’t heed calls to halt. The guards later said they feared the siblings were planning a stabbing attack.

Police suspect that the guards were wrong to shoot the Palestinians — a woman and her teenage brother — at the crossing, although at the time police said the woman had thrown a knife at security forces and that her brother was carrying two blades.

Defense officials have pointed to a trend among some young Palestinian women who, often due to personal problems, have in recent months attempted to commit suicide by staging knife attacks against soldiers and police with the expectation that they will be shot.

Since October, 35 Israelis and four foreign nationals have been killed in a spate of car-ramming, stabbing, shooting, and bombing attacks. Some 215 Palestinians have also been killed, most of them while attempting attacks, according to Israel. Others were killed in clashes with security forces.

Agencies contributed to this report.

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