IDF orders removal of Palestinian workers from Gush Etzion, after attacks

Etzion Brigade commander and the Judea and Samaria Division make decision following security assessment Monday.

January 18, 2016 13:39
1 minute read.
Tekoa idf

IDF forces conduct search after a Palestinian assailant stabbed an Israeli woman in Tekoa, January 18, 2016. (photo credit: Courtesy)

The IDF’s Etzion Brigade commander Col. Roman Gofman ordered on Monday the removal of all Palestinian workers from the Gush Etzion settlement cluster in the West Bank.

The decision was made following a security assessment by the Etzion Brigade commander and the Judea and Samaria Division after two separate terror attacks on Sunday and Monday in the West Bank left one woman killed and another wounded.

The duration of the order was not immediately known.

Earlier on Monday, a pregnant Israeli woman in her 30s was stabbed and moderately wounded in the West Bank settlement of Tekoa..

The terrorist who carried out the attack was shot and wounded before IDF emergency medical workers evacuated him to a hospital.

Witness Hanni Gimpel, who was inside the warehouse at the time of the attack, recalled the events that occurred.
Tekoa stabbing witness

"As we were organizing, a young man entered, he was approximately between the age of 18-20, and he was asking questions," she recounted. "I immediately suspected him and took a step back. Then he pulled a knife from his pocket, and started chasing us inside the warehouse."

Gimple continued, saying that one of the women fell down during the tumult and the knife-bearer started to stab her, as the rest of the women ran out of the structure screaming.

"Immediately people with weapons came, and [the suspect] ran away. He didn't succeed in wounding her too seriously," she said, adding that the terrorist "just entered private property, inside the town, in a place where there were only women."

Monday's attack came after a Palestinian terrorist on Sunday evening stabbed to death Dafna Meir, 38, inside her home in the West Bank settlement of Otniel. The attacker then fled the scene in the South Hebron Hills and remained at large.

Security forces on Monday continued a widespread manhunt for the murderer of the mother of six.

Sunday's stabbing marked the first time Palestinian terrorists have executed a fatal attack inside a settlement since March 2011 when five members of the Fogel family were stabbed to death in their home in Itamar.

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