Qalandiya stabber was ‘fed up with life,’ wanted to die

Palestinian mother of 9 Asya Kabaneh, who lightly injured soldier, tells interrogators she decided to stab Israeli guards after husband threatened to divorce her

Medics arrive on the scene to treat a female security guard who was stabbed near the Qalandiya crossing in the central West Bank on April 24, 2017. (Magen David Adom)
Medics arrive on the scene to treat a female security guard who was stabbed near the Qalandiya crossing in the central West Bank on April 24, 2017. (Magen David Adom)

The Palestinian woman who stabbed and lightly injured a female soldier at the Qalandiya checkpoint in the West Bank early Monday morning told investigators she carried out the attack in hopes of being killed by Israeli security forces.

A statement from the Shin Bet security service said 41-year-old Asya Kabaneh, from the Nablus-area village of Duma, said that she and her husband were experiencing marital problems that left her “fed up with life.”

Kabaneh, a mother of nine, said she had made up her mind to carry out an attack after she fought with her husband the night before over their children’s education and he threatened to divorce her.

Shortly before 7 a.m., Kabaneh approached a non-commissioned officer at the Qalandia checkpoint saying she wanted to “ask a question,” according to police. Once next to the soldier, Kabaneh “took a knife out of her bag, ran at the security officer quickly and stabbed her” in the shoulder.

Other security personnel in the area quickly pounced on Kabaneh, disarming her and took her into custody.

The 28-year-old soldier was lightly injured, and was taken to Jerusalem’s Hadassah Hospital Ein Kerem.

Though a marked drop has been recorded by security officials in recent months, 41 Israelis, two Americans, a Briton, a Palestinian and an Eritrean national have been killed in the spate of Palestinian stabbing, car-ramming and shooting attacks that began a year and a half ago.

Israeli officials have said that many of the attackers were driven by personal problems, with some, like Monday’s attacker, hoping to commit suicide by attacking a cop or soldier.

Earlier this month, British student Hannah Bladon, 20, was stabbed to death on the Jerusalem light rail by a Palestinian man from East Jerusalem who said he attacked her in order to be killed by an IDF soldier who was on the tram.

According to AFP figures, some 250 Palestinians, a Jordanian and a Sudanese migrant have also been killed in the spate of attacks, most of them in the course of carrying out attacks, Israel says, and many of the others in clashes with troops in the West Bank and at the Gaza border, as well as in Israeli airstrikes in the Gaza Strip in response to rocket attacks.

The spate of Palestinian attacks that began in October 2015 was dubbed the “lone wolf” intifada, as many of the attacks were carried out by individuals who were not connected to any terror group.

On Sunday, a Palestinian teen injured four Israelis in a stabbing attack in a hotel on Tel Aviv’s beachfront.

The unnamed 18-year-old from the Nablus area apparently entered Israel on a special one-day permit in order to participate in a coexistence trip aimed at fostering ties between Israelis and Palestinians.

The Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories said one-day permits granted to different organizations and groups would be “frozen” until an investigation can be conducted.

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