IDF thwarts stabbing attack at West Bank bus stop, kills terrorist

The IDF shot a Palestinian man as he ran toward a bus stop with a knife. The attack comes amid an increase in West Bank violence.

 A knife used in an attempted stabbing attack near Ariel on December 31, 2021. (photo credit: IDF SPOKESPERSON'S UNIT)
A knife used in an attempted stabbing attack near Ariel on December 31, 2021.
(photo credit: IDF SPOKESPERSON'S UNIT)

The IDF thwarted a stabbing attack against civilians at a bus stop at the Giti Avishar junction in the Samaria region of the West Bank, killing the Palestinian terrorist.

No civilians or soldiers were injured in the Friday morning attack.

The soldier who shot at the terrorist described the events of the attack in a video that was sent out to the Israeli media.

“A car stopped near me,” he said. “A terrorist got out of the car wielding a knife, yelled ‘Allahu Akbar’ [God is great] and ran toward me. I shot in order to neutralize him.” The IDF explained that the terrorist had run in the direction of a bus stop where both soldiers and civilians were standing.

The IDF later arrested the man who had driven the attacker to the scene. He was not carrying weapons and was taken in for questioning.

 Samaria Regional Council head Yossi Dagan praises soldiers who thwarted an attempted stabbing attack near Ariel on December 31, 2021 (credit: SAMARIA REGIONAL COUNCIL) Samaria Regional Council head Yossi Dagan praises soldiers who thwarted an attempted stabbing attack near Ariel on December 31, 2021 (credit: SAMARIA REGIONAL COUNCIL)

Earlier this week, Defense Minister Benny Gantz held a meeting with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas in an effort to thwart a violent Palestinian uprising in the West Bank.

The rare meeting, which took place in Gantz’s Rosh Ha’ayin home, was the second one between the two leaders. They had met in August in Ramallah.

Last month Palestinian terrorists killed 25-year-old Yehuda Dimentman and lightly wounded two others. They sprayed bullets at a vehicle as it left the Homesh hilltop in the direction of the Shavei Shomron settlement, in the Samaria region.

In an interview with Army Radio on Thursday, Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories Maj.-Gen. Ghassan Alian told Army Radio that the situation was tense and that the PA wanted to maintain stability and de-escalate the situation.

Samaria Regional Council head Yossi Dagan visited the scene of the attack.

After praising the soldiers’ conduct during the incident, Dagan blamed the government’s policy of not acting strongly enough against terror.

“The Israeli government, unfortunately, is harming its deterrence and losing it time and time again; we see this in severe attack attempts, over and over again,” he said. “I call on the Israeli government to wake up, and to learn from IDF soldiers how to fight terrorism. Terrorism is not negotiated, terrorism is not embraced: Terrorism is defeated and terrorism is fought and eradicated.”

According to IDF data released midweek, the number of Palestinian shooting and stabbing attacks against Israeli civilians and security forces in the West Bank has doubled to the highest it has been in four years. The data does not include all of December.

There were 31 incidents of Palestinians shooting at Israeli security forces and civilians in 2019, compared to 61 this year. There were also nine stabbing incidents compared to 18 in 2021.

Israeli fatalities, however, remained low. Last year there were two victims: St.-Sgt. Amit Ben Yigal, 21, killed in a military operation in the West Bank village of Yabad, and Esther Horgan, a civilian who was killed while jogging near her home in the Tal Menashe settlement.

This year there were two civilian casualties, both in the Samaria region: Dimentman and Yehuda Guetta, 19, who was killed at the Tapuah junction.