A newly released video shows the moments in which a Palestinian assailant attacked Israeli soldiers with a knife in Hebron Saturday morning, lightly wounding one of them before being shot and killed.
The attacker, identified as Hatem Abdel-Hafiz al-Shaloudi, is seen approaching a soldier at a checkpoint near the West Bank city’s Jewish Tel Rumeida neighborhood and presenting him with a piece of paper, ostensibly his credentials. The moment the soldier accepts the paper and glances down at it, Shaloudi is seen pulling out a knife and lunging at him.
The soldier manages to duck away in time, and Shaloudi then turns his attention to another soldier. He chases him with the knife and the two are seen scuffling. The soldier wrestles Shaloudi to the ground as three more troops rush to his aid, weapons drawn.
It is not clear exactly when the assailant is shot. At the end of the clip the soldiers are seen moving away from the now motionless Shaloudi as he lies on the ground.
A military statement said the attacker drew a knife during a routine security check, wounding a soldier. “In response to the immediate threat, forces at the scene shot the assailant, resulting in his death,” the statement said.
Some time after Saturday’s attack security forces surrounded Shaloudi’s Hebron home. There was no word on whether they made any arrests or confiscated materials.
The incident was the fifth apparently terror-related attack of the weekend, and the third in the Hebron area.
On Friday morning, a Jordanian national was shot and killed as he attempted to stab a Border Police officer at the Damascus Gate in Jerusalem. Less than an hour later, a soldier shot and killed a Palestinian man and seriously wounded a Palestinian woman who allegedly carried out a car-ramming attack outside the Kiryat Arba settlement next to Hebron. Then on Friday afternoon, a bus driver was lightly wounded when unidentified perpetrators threw rocks and glass bottles full of paint at his vehicle on the highway between Jerusalem and the Ma’ale Adumim settlement.
Late Thursday night in Hebron, IDF soldiers shot and killed a Palestinian suspect, Muhammad Ahmad Abed al-Fattah al-Sarrahin, who fled as they attempted to arrest him.
Israel blames the violence on a campaign of incitement by Palestinian political and religious leaders compounded on social media sites that glorify attackers as heroes and encourage more attacks.
Following Saturday’s incident the IDF said, “the attacks in recent days are just another example of the danger of Palestinian incitement spread through social media.”
Meanwhile, Hanan Ashrawi, a senior Palestinian official, condemned Israel for the “extra-judicial killings” of the attackers but did not condemn the attacks themselves. “Israel is flagrantly employing a systematic and willful policy of summary executions against the Palestinian people; such provocative acts are in direct violation of international law and conventions,” Ashrawi said. “We call on the international community to engage rapidly and effectively before it is too late.”
The Hebron area, where Palestinians, Israeli settlers and soldiers live in close proximity, has been a frequent scene of clashes between Israeli security forces and Palestinians, as well as terror attacks by Palestinian assailants.
In the past year, Israel saw a wave of so-called “lone wolf” Palestinian terror attacks, which claimed the lives of 35 Israelis and four foreign nationals since October 2015. Over 200 Palestinians have also been killed in the past year, with the Israeli army and police saying that most of those killed were attackers or involved in clashes with security forces.
However, the violence had dramatically waned in the past several months.
Judah Ari Gross, AP and AFP contributed to this report