A lone soldier from London helped thwart a stabbing attack against soldiers guarding Gitit Avishar junction near the settlement of Ariel in Samaria on Tuesday. The Palestinian terrorist was killed.
Cpl. Lian Harush was at the junction along with her commander when a Palestinian, Attallah Mohammad Rayyan, 17, approached and tried to stab her.
“After I knocked him back with my weapon, he went back and forth between me and my commander, trying to stab us,” Harush said.
While they tussled, her commander, Sgt. Y., shot and killed the terrorist.
“I identified a man approaching the junction,” Y. said.
“He arrived and began assaulting the soldier who was with me. She knocked him back with her weapon a few times as I loaded a bullet and fired one shot at the man, after which we kept hitting him with our weapons. I kicked the knife away to make sure he would no longer pose a threat.”
Harush called her parents in London from the scene, updated them on the attack and told them she was fine.
Both Harush and Y. are from the Home Front Command’s Search and Rescue Unit, currently on routine security activity in the West Bank.
“This is the kind of thing we prepare for during training, and we will always be prepared and ready to deal with it,” Harush said in a statement after the attack.
There were no Israeli casualties in the attack, United Hatzalah responders confirmed.
“Miraculously, other than the attacker, there were no casualties, and the incident is being dealt with by security forces,” said Chaim Kreif, a United Hatzalah emergency medical technician volunteer who was one of the first responders on the scene.
Soldiers were dispatched to the area as the IDF investigated the incident.
Ariel Mayor Eli Shaviro arrived at the scene to thank the soldiers.
It was the second such attack at the junction in recent months, he said, adding that the soldiers’ “resourcefulness and quick response” prevented casualties, he said.
Samaria Regional Council head Yossi Dagan arrived at the scene and spoke with Harush.
“You are heroes, and thanks to you a larger attack was prevented,” he told the soldiers.
Last month, Esther Horgan was killed by a Palestinian while jogging in a forest near her home in the Tal Menashe settlement, Dagan said.
On Monday, a jogger was able to thwart Palestinian attackers near the Har Bracha settlement, he said.
The government must instruct the IDF to operate more forcibly in the Palestinian villages from which the attacks emanate, Dagan said.
“We will not allow people to be harmed or their quality of life to be disrupted,” he said.
Tobias Siegal and Khaled Abu Toameh contributed to this report.