Knife at scene of West Bank stabbing, August 15, 2015.
(photo credit: ISRAEL BORDER POLICE SPOKESMAN)
Two stabbing attacks in the West Bank on Saturday left two Israeli security personnel lightly wounded and a teenage Palestinian attacker shot dead by border police in the span of a few hours.
On Saturday evening a Palestinian man stabbed and lightly wounded a Border Police officer who was at a checkpoint at a junction near Nablus in the direction of the Palestinian village of Huwara.
Seeing that his fellow officer was assaulted, another officer shot and wounded the attacker, named by Ma’an News Agency as 16-year-old Rafik Kamal al-Taj, who later died of his wounds.
Not long after the attack, the Border Police released a statement attributed to “B.,” the officer who shot the Palestinian attacker, who is quoted as saying the event “lasts only a few seconds, there is no time to hesitate and one has to use precise judgment and act immediately.”
Border Policemen at scene of West Bank stabbing, August 15, 2015. (photo credit: ISRAEL POLICE)
Earlier in the day, a soldier was stabbed
by a Palestinian man at a checkpoint on Route 443 near Beit Horon.
The attacker, who was waiting in line at the checkpoint, reportedly asked the soldier for a cup of water, and when the soldier turned, he stabbed him in the upper body, lightly wounding him.
The stabber, named as Mahmoud Nasim Yousef Gumhouriyya of Beit Annan near Ramallah, was shot and lightly wounded by soldiers and taken into custody.
That incident was the second in the last week on Route 443
, coming almost a week after a Palestinian man stabbed and lightly wounded a 26-year-old Israeli at the Dor Alon gas station on the highway last Sunday night. Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon praised the security personnel who “neutralized” the two attackers, saying “Anyone that tries to harm IDF soldiers or Border Police officers should know that they are taking their lives into their own hands. The fight against Palestinian terrorism, both the organized and ‘lone wolf’ types, is complex and requires an iron hand, cool manner and good judgment, and this is how we act.”
Bayit Yehudi chairman Naftali Bennett said the Palestinians reached a new low.
“The Palestinians are morally bankrupt if these are their new heroes: terrorists who ask for water from soldiers and then reward them by trying to murder them with a knife,” he said. “I want to praise the soldiers and say clearly that we must give soldiers the authority to act and harm terrorists and back them when they do so.”
The Zionist Union also condemned the attacks and praised the IDF and Border Police for “acting quickly and professionally... and working day and night to protect the security of Israel and its citizens.”
The party’s spokesman added, “We cannot let terrorism rear its head. The prime minister must bring personal security back to Israel’s citizens.”Khaled Abu Toameh contributed to this report.