Palestinian assailant wounds Israeli jogger in Gush Etzion stabbing

Assailant flees scene after attack; security forces searching for suspect.

Ambulances at scene of terror attack in West Bank settlement of Naveh Daniel (photo credit: MDA)
Ambulances at scene of terror attack in West Bank settlement of Naveh Daniel
(photo credit: MDA)
An Israeli jogger was wounded and two knife wielding female Palestinian teenagers were arrested in three separate incidents in Jerusalem and the Gush Etzion region of the West Bank on Tuesday.
Tomer Ditore, 28, was stabbed in the evening as he ran on the Derech Ha’avot path near the Neve Daniel settlement.
The arrival of a second jogger on the path scared away the assailant, who fled in the direction of the Palestinian village of Nahlin.
The second jogger called for help.
When Magen David Adom paramedics arrived they found Ditore lying on the ground fully conscious.
They transported him to Jerusalem’s Sha’are Tzedek Medical Center where he is listed in light to moderate condition with stab wounds in the upper part of his body.
Security forces have cordoned off roads in the area, including to Nahin, and erected checkpoints to search for the suspect.
Earlier in the Gush Etzion region, a 13-year old Palestinian girl with a knife was stopped as she walked toward the gate of Karmei Tzur settlement.
She was also holding a number of school books in her hand.
The security guard asked her to stop and lie down on the ground, because Palestinian school girls do not usually enter the settlement, particularly in the morning, according to a Gush Etzion Council spokesman.
When she did so, she dropped the books which had hidden the knife that she also had in her hand. It too, fell to the pavement, the spokesman said.
The guard held her until security forces arrived. The forces have arrested her.
Gush Etzion Regional Council head, Davidi Perl said that “thanks to the awareness of the residents and the professionalism of security forces a tragedy was prevented this morning.”
Perl blamed Palestinian incitement for the incident and called on Israel to take action.
“When a girl leaves her home to stab Jews rather than head to school, that can only be the result of wild incitement rampant for years in the Palestinian Authority. We once again call on the government of Israel to act responsibly by going on the offensive rather than rely on defensive responses,” Perl said.
On Friday night Palestinian vandals set fire to prayer books in a small synagogue in the Givat Sorek outpost, just outside the boundaries of Karmei Tzur.
On Tuesday afternoon members of the non-governmental group Tag Meir, which protests hate crimes, came to the synagogue and donated 10 prayer books.
“In the last four years we have visited mosques, churches, monasteries and synagogues that have been damaged.
We wanted to tell the people in Karmei Tzur that we are sorry,” the group’s leader Gadi Gvaryahu said.
“In any place that violence occurs in God’s name we should be there to protest,” said group member Elias Cohen.
In Jerusalem, Border Police prevented a 16-year-old Palestinian girl from carrying out a knife attack outside Jerusalem’s Damascus Gate, marking the second time in 24 hours that a female Arab suspect has attempted to stab civilians and officers near the Old City entrance.
“At approximately 9:30 a.m., police units patrolling Damascus Gate saw a young woman acting suspiciously,” said Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld.
“Police pulled the woman over for questioning and she pulled a knife from her bag and attempted to attack the officers.”
“In this attack, police were able to push her back and remove the knife from her before harming her,” he added. “No shots were fired by officers, who immediately arrested her and took her in for questioning.”
None of the officers were wounded, he said.
Tuesday’s arrest comes less than 24 hours after a 42-year-old Arab woman was arrested after Border Police found a large knife hidden in her bag.
In a similar scenario, officers patrolling Damascus Gate observed the unidentified woman behaving suspiciously and then proceeded to question her.
Police discovered the knife hidden in her bag and placed her under arrest after she said she intended to stab officers or Jewish pedestrians in the area, Rosenfeld said.
The woman was arrested without incident and subsequently arraigned at Jerusalem Magistrate’s Court.
Noting the recent spike in attempted attacks carried out by female suspects, Rosenfeld said police have stepped up surveillance and patrols in and around the Old City to identify potential terrorists.
“Heightened security remains in effect for both male and females of all ages after two thwarted attacks in 24 hours,” he said.