Security forces arrested a Palestinian resident of the El-Bireh district of
Ramallah last week, on suspicion of stabbing a nine-year- old Israeli girl in
neighboring Psagot in October, the army announced Sunday.
linked himself to the attack, and revealed details of the incident that only
someone who was involved could possibly know, Col. Yossi Pinto, Commander of the
Binyamin Regional Brigade said.
The army made the arrest last Tuesday
evening after receiving an intelligence tip-off from the Israel
An additional resident of El-Bireh, who knew about the attack
after it occurred, is also under arrest.
The Shin Bet [Israel Security
Agency] stated that the motive was criminal, and that it was not viewing this as
a nationalistic- terrorist attack.
The main suspect has been named
Abdullah Abu Kabita, 21, of El-Bireh.
He said during questioning that he
planned to break into a home in Psagot, in order to steal arms that he required
for a personal dispute, the Shin Bet [Israel Security Agency] said.
days before the stabbing, Abu Kabita arrived at the community with a friend, cut
a hole in the fence, and approached a home. He retreated after noticing a car
On October 5 he arrived alone and entered Psagot through
the hole he had made in the fence.
He walked towards the nearest home. He
told interrogators he was surprised by the girl, stabbed her in the shoulder,
and fled back to Ramallah.
Pinto said that the motive was “irrelevant,”
adding that from the army’s perspective, the suspect is a terrorist.
knowingly attacked a nine-year-old girl. The question of whether this is
criminal or terrorist is less significant,” Pinto said.
“He came to
attack, so this is in effect a terrorist incident.”
The attacker acted
alone, without the support of a wider terrorist infrastructure, Pinto
He was arrested last week, in his home, although the original plan
was to arrest him elsewhere – a change in the suspect’s patterns led the army to
alter its plans.
“The fact that the tip-off came from the police does not
tell us about motives,” Pinto stressed.
“The suspect described the
details of the incident, things we did not publicize. He described sneaking into
the community [through a hole in a fence]. En route to a home, he met the girl,
and stabbed her twice. She cried out. He was startled, and fled through the same
path he took to get in.
“He ran into the girl, but was prepared to
attack,” the commander said.
Judea and Samaria District Police said that
the background to the incident is still “under investigation,” and has not yet