Security forces arrest Palestinian for stabbing of Israeli girl in Psagot

Shin Bet says motive is criminal, not nationalistic-terrorist; additional suspect arrested for involvement in incident.

Suspect in Psagot stabbing (photo credit: Shin Bet)
Suspect in Psagot stabbing
(photo credit: Shin Bet)
Security forces arrested a Palestinian resident of the El-Bireh district of Ramallah last week, on suspicion of stabbing a nine-year- old Israeli girl in neighboring Psagot in October, the army announced Sunday.
The suspect linked himself to the attack, and revealed details of the incident that only someone who was involved could possibly know, Col. Yossi Pinto, Commander of the Binyamin Regional Brigade said.
The army made the arrest last Tuesday evening after receiving an intelligence tip-off from the Israel Police.
An additional resident of El-Bireh, who knew about the attack after it occurred, is also under arrest.
The Shin Bet [Israel Security Agency] stated that the motive was criminal, and that it was not viewing this as a nationalistic- terrorist attack.
The main suspect has been named Abdullah Abu Kabita, 21, of El-Bireh.
He said during questioning that he planned to break into a home in Psagot, in order to steal arms that he required for a personal dispute, the Shin Bet [Israel Security Agency] said.
A few days before the stabbing, Abu Kabita arrived at the community with a friend, cut a hole in the fence, and approached a home. He retreated after noticing a car driving nearby.
On October 5 he arrived alone and entered Psagot through the hole he had made in the fence.
He walked towards the nearest home. He told interrogators he was surprised by the girl, stabbed her in the shoulder, and fled back to Ramallah.
Pinto said that the motive was “irrelevant,” adding that from the army’s perspective, the suspect is a terrorist.
“He knowingly attacked a nine-year-old girl. The question of whether this is criminal or terrorist is less significant,” Pinto said.
“He came to attack, so this is in effect a terrorist incident.”
The attacker acted alone, without the support of a wider terrorist infrastructure, Pinto said.
He was arrested last week, in his home, although the original plan was to arrest him elsewhere – a change in the suspect’s patterns led the army to alter its plans.
“The fact that the tip-off came from the police does not tell us about motives,” Pinto stressed.
“The suspect described the details of the incident, things we did not publicize. He described sneaking into the community [through a hole in a fence]. En route to a home, he met the girl, and stabbed her twice. She cried out. He was startled, and fled through the same path he took to get in.
“He ran into the girl, but was prepared to attack,” the commander said.
Judea and Samaria District Police said that the background to the incident is still “under investigation,” and has not yet been decided.