Stabbing attack foiled at West Bank junction

Palestinian pulls out dagger as Border Police search his bags, is caught during escape attempt

Stuart Winer is a breaking news editor at The Times of Israel.

Illustrative photo of Border Police officers at the Tapuah Junction near Nablus, August 15, 2015. (Flash90)
Illustrative photo of Border Police officers at the Tapuah Junction near Nablus, August 15, 2015. (Flash90)

A Palestinian man was arrested on Wednesday after he tried to stab Border Police officers in the West Bank.

The man, said to be in his 20s and a resident of Nablus, pulled out a dagger as police were conducting a routine search of his bag near Tapuah junction.

After failing to injure any of the officers he tried to run away but was quickly apprehended.

There were no injuries in the incident.

A short video clip showed the suspect standing up with his hands bound behind him after following his arrest.

He was taken away for questioning by security forces.

The junction, south of Nablus in the central West Bank, has seen numerous attacks against Israeli civilians and security forces. Last month a border policeman was injured in a stabbing attack at the junction, the second such incident in two days at the same location.

Security forces identified Muhammad Bassam Abu-Amsha el Atrache, 22, of Kafr Rai south of Jenin, as the assailant in that attack. Atrache was shot dead at the scene by a second border policeman.

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The attempted stabbing came amid what officials have said is an uptick in violence as tensions flare over access to the Temple Mount in Jerusalem.

Extra police were deployed to the holy site Wednesday after three straight days of clashes between Israeli forces and Muslim protesters, and police also beefed up their presence around the city.

On Sunday evening, 64-year Jerusalemite Alexander Levlovitz was killed in the capital when his vehicle was struck by rocks as he made his way home from a Rosh Hashanah dinner.

The Temple Mount complex has been the site of riots in the last several days, although the area was reported to be relatively calm Wednesday morning with the deployment of police forces. Police said dozens of youths barricaded themselves in the al-Aqssa Mosque with firebombs, rocks, fireworks and other means to attack police and Jewish visitors to the holy site.

Jordan’s King Abdullah had threatened diplomatic sanctions over what he termed “Israeli violations” at the sensitive holy site after police battled the protesters.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Wednesday the country was not seeking to change the sensitive status quo, which prohibits Jewish prayer

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