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Police free pair arrested over Jerusalem stabbing attack

Two were picked up as suspects after terrorists wounded two elderly women near Armon Hanatziv promenade; hunt for assailants continues

Security forces at the scene of a stabbing attack in Armon Hanatziv neighborhood of Jerusalem, May 10, 2016. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)
Security forces at the scene of a stabbing attack in Armon Hanatziv neighborhood of Jerusalem, May 10, 2016. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

Police released two people Tuesday afternoon hours after arresting them in connection with the stabbing of two elderly women in Jerusalem.

The women were stabbed and moderately injured by a pair of assailants in what police said was a terror attack at the Peace Forest, near the Armon Hanatziv promenade in southern Jerusalem.

Police said two stabbers, both of whom were masked, fled toward the adjacent East Jerusalem neighborhood of Jabel Mukaber.

A spokesperson said two suspects were caught, terming the incident a “suspected nationalistic attack.”

But hours later, Israel Police spokesperson Luba Samri said in a statement that “after a thorough investigation of the suspects who were arrested in sweeps after the attack, the suspicion of their involvement in the attack was removed and they were released.”

Rescuers at the site of a stabbing attack that left two elderly women moderately wounded, in Armon Hanatziv in southern Jerusalem, May 10, 2016. (Magen David Adom)
Rescuers at the site of a stabbing attack that left two elderly women moderately wounded, in Armon Hanatziv in southern Jerusalem, May 10, 2016. (Magen David Adom)

Samri added that police were continuing operational activities alongside intensive intelligence and investigative work to locate and arrest the stabbers.

Both women were rushed to a local hospital in moderate condition, the Magen David Adom rescue service said.

An MDA spokesperson said the two were in their 80s — one aged 82 and the other 86 — and were fully conscious. One of the wounded women was a Holocaust survivor, Channel 2 reported.

The attack occurred in a wooded area below the Armon Hanatziv Tayelet, a southern Jerusalem promenade overlooking the city popular with joggers, walkers and tourists.

The area sits near the seam line between the capital’s eastern and western halves.

The two women were part of a group of five walking through the area, known as the Peace Forest, when they were set upon, police said.

Police taping off the scene of an attack in southern Jerusalem on May 10, 2016. (Police spokesperson)
Police taping off the scene of an attack in southern Jerusalem on May 10, 2016. (Police spokesperson)

Magen David Adom medic Shlomi Tedgi said he and his colleagues came across the women on a path near the promenade.

“In the field near the promenade we saw two elderly women, about 80, lying in the dirt, conscious, with stab wounds,” Tedgi said.

He said one had stab wounds to her upper body and limbs and another had stab wounds on her upper body.

A spokesperson for Shaare Zedek hospital, where the two were taken, said they had both been stabbed in the chest and were in stable condition in the trauma ward.

The incident fit the pattern of a wave of stabbing attacks that have wracked the capital since October.

A wave of Palestinian terrorism and violence since October has left 29 Israelis and four foreigners dead.

Some 200 Palestinians were killed in the same period, most of them as they carried out attacks against Israelis and the remainder in violent protests in the West Bank, according to the IDF.

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