Two Israeli civilians, including a young teenage girl, were wounded in a terror stabbing at the Gush Etzion junction early Tuesday evening. An off-duty police officer and soldiers shot the terrorist, seriously wounding him.
The three were taken to Hadassah Hospital in Jerusalem's Ein Karem neighborhood and Sha'arei Tsedek in Jerusalem. It is the second terror attack in the past four months to occur at the junction.
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Binyamin, 25, of Kiryat Arba, suffered a stab wound to the stomach and his condition was initially described by Magen David medics at the site as serious. Shortly after he arrived at the hospital, his condition improved and was listed as satisfactory. The second victim, a 17-year-old teenage girl from Tekoa was lightly wounded.
Magen David Adom paramedic Hagai Bartov arrived at the site three minutes after the attack. "We treated three people. Two Israelis who suffered from stab wounds, one in the stomach and a teenage girl who was stabbed in the hand. I treated the terrorist, who suffered gunshot wounds to the left thigh and back," he told The Jerusalem Post
. The terrorist, said Bartov, appeared to be in his twenties.
Off-duty police officer Ch.-Supt. Meir Organji, Hebron Police head of operations, told the Post
that he was driving towards Jerusalem when he spotted someone racing across the road. Having slowed down his car after passing an IDF checkpoint, his instincts told him to turn around.
"I saw someone racing across the road, at first I didn't think anything of it, but something told me all was not well. I turned around and saw a terrorist holding a large kitchen knife stabbing a civilian. There were three or four young girls standing nearby. I got out of the car and aimed my loaded handgun. The terrorist spotted me and began racing towards El Aroub," he said. "I called out to him in Arabic to stop, but he continued running towards a nearby checkpoint. The soldiers there were not aware of what had happened. I fired two shots, one hit the terrorist," he said.
Organji then called out to the soldiers, warned them that he was a police officer and that the terrorist was racing towards them. "I feared that as I was wearing civilian clothes and carrying a gun they may shoot me," he said. "The soldiers opened fire and neutralized the terrorist. He fell to the ground and dropped the large kitchen knife."
Shaul Goldstein, head of the Gush Etzion Regional Council, called on the government to safeguard its citizens. "The rise of Hamas places a new challenge before Israel and its confrontation with serious terror attacks. Every concession Israel gives will be viewed by the other side as surrender. It is the fourth attack to occur at the exact same spot in the past four months," he said.
On October 16, three Israelis were killed in a drive-by shooting at the junction. Kinneret Mandel, 21, Matat (Rosenfeld) Eldar, 21, and Oz Ben-Meir, 15, were killed and two others wounded after terrorists opened fire at a group of commuters awaiting transportation home.
In recent weeks, there has been a sharp rise in the number of terrorists caught by soldiers at checkpoints carrying knives to attack soldiers and civilians.
Just hours before Tuesday's stabbing, Border Police manning a checkpoint outside of Bethlehem caught a 14-year-old Palestinian girl carrying a knife. She later told officials that she had intended to stab and kill soldiers. Outside the Machpela Cave in Hebron, Border Police apprehended a Palestinian caught carrying a knife and a tear gas canister.