Botched stabbing was suicide not terror attack, IDF must release body - MK

Meretz MK Mossi Raz stressed that the woman who attempted to stab soldiers had difficulties with mental health after she was harmed financially by the pandemic.

Knife used in attempted stabbing attack at Gush Etzion Junction. (photo credit: IDF SPOKESPERSON'S UNIT)
Knife used in attempted stabbing attack at Gush Etzion Junction.
The Palestinian woman killed attempting to stab soldiers on Sunday likely approached them to commit suicide without any intent to actually harm them, and therefore her body should be returned to her family, Meretz MK Mossi Raz said Monday in a letter to Defense Minister Benny Gantz.
“I call on you to release her body to her family so she can be brought to rest,” he wrote. “About a month ago, amid a significant deterioration in her mental and [physical] health condition, and according to her family testimony and medical documents that were handed over to me, the deceased tried to commit suicide by taking a large number of pills, but medical staff was able to save her life.”
She knew a threat to the soldiers could set off a reaction that would cause her physical harm and, in fact, it did lead to her death, he added.
Raz identified the woman as Fahima al-Horoub, 60, a hairdresser who ran a successful business but who was harmed financially by the coronavirus pandemic. Her mental and physical health deteriorated, and she suffered from anxiety and depression, he said.
Horoub did not have a background of political involvement and had no connection to any military, hostile, or terror activity, Raz said, adding that she was the only one who was harmed in the incident.
The deceased cannot be brought back to life, and her family cannot escape the nightmarish grief over her loss, but closure can be brought to her family with the return of the body for burial, Raz wrote.
The incident took place at Gush Etzion junction and was captured on video. Wearing a traditional black robe and head covering, Horoub walked in the direction of the soldiers with a knife in one hand and a black purse strung over her shoulder. Part of her face was covered by a blue surgical mask used to protect against coronavirus.
Two soldiers with flak jackets and helmets faced her with guns drawn and walked backward as she moved forward. They shouted at her to put the knife down and to stop.
After a few moments they shot her, but the camera was not focused on her or the soldiers at the time of the shooting.
Horoub was taken in critical condition to Jerusalem’s Shaare Zedek Medical Center, where she succumbed to her wounds.
Meretz MK Yair Golan, a major-general in the reserves and a former IDF deputy chief of staff, called for an investigation into the incident and for the army to change its practices for both professional and moral reasons.
The soldiers should have used minimum, not maximum, force, and they should have been able to disarm her and neutralize the situation without killing her, he said.
The short video of the incident was a “documentary of an unnecessary death,” Golan said.