'Terrorist killer was a PA officer'

Soldier sitting in jeep stabbed, crashes vehicle as he tries to escape.

February 10, 2010 14:11
2 minute read.
A police officer stands next to a turned-over mili

Tapuah attack 311. (photo credit: AP)

The terrorist who stabbed an IDF soldier to death at the Tapuah junction on Wednesday afternoon was a Palestinian Authority police officer from Yabed, according to IDF sources.

The IDF soldier was named as First-Sgt. Ihab Khatib, 26, from the northern village of Marar. He served as a logistics non-commissioned officer in the Kfir Brigade.

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Khatib was waiting in his Sufa jeep in a queue of traffic when he was stabbed in the chest through an open window.

In the soldier's attempt to speed away, the vehicle overturned.

The PA officer, identified as Mahmoud Hattib, was then run over and lightly hurt by a local security officer from the nearby settlement of Rehelim. He was then arrested by police. Defense officials assessed that Hattib worked alone.

First-Sgt. Ihab Khatib.Khatib was evacuated to Petah Tikva's Beilinson Hospital, where he succumbed to the knife wounds.

The soldier is survived by a father, a mother, two brothers and three sisters. Several years ago, his uncle was killed in action. In the Second Lebanon War, his aunt was killed when a Katyusha rocket fired by Hizbullah hit her house.

Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Salam Fayyad denounced the attack and said it "conflicts with our national interests." He pledged to take steps to prevent such incidents in the future, while endorsing "peaceful resistance" against settlements and the security barrier.

An over turned IDF jeep is seen after a stabbing attack in the West Bank junction of Tapuah, near Nablus Wednesday. (AP)
The Binyamin and Samaria Citizens' Committee blasted Defense Minister Ehud Barak after the deadly attack.

“It’s no small wonder that when the defense minister is busy implementing the racist settlement construction freeze and with vain arrests of settlers, the terrorists and their accomplices are celebrating,” read a statement from the organization. “Today, the settlement freeze monitors visited Kfar Tapuah while the terror attack took place right under their noses.”

In December, after months of quiet in the West Bank, 45-year-old father of seven Meir Chai was killed in a drive-by shooting attack near the northern Samaria settlement of Shavei Shomron.

Chai was the fourth person killed by terrorists in the West Bank in 2009. In March, two traffic policemen, Senior Warrant Officers Yehezkel Ramazreger and Chief Warrant Officer David Rabinovitch, were shot dead in the Jordan Valley, and in April, 13-year-old Shlomo Nativ was stabbed to death near his home in the Gush Etzion settlement of Bat Ayin.

AP contributed to this report.

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