Terrorist stabs female soldier in light rail car

Teenage attacker apprehended at Kalandiya crossing; Jerusalem on alert ahead of the city's marathon.

Police at Jerusalem light rail Pisgat Ze'ev (photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem/The Jerusalem Post)
Police at Jerusalem light rail Pisgat Ze'ev
(photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem/The Jerusalem Post)
A Palestinian teenager stabbed a 19-year-old female soldier on the light rail in Jerusalem Thursday morning, seriously wounding the woman before fleeing.
The attacker rode the train north until the Pisgat Ze’ev station, where he stood up and stabbed the woman, who was in uniform, several times before running away as the doors opened, said Dep.-Ch. Nissan Aderi, the commander of the police’s Zion Precinct.
This is the first terrorist attack on the light rail since it began carrying passengers in August. The suspect was caught around 11:30 a.m. at the Kalandiya crossing, located near the Pisgat Ze’ev neighborhood, trying to return to Palestinian Authority- controlled territory.
He admitted to carrying out the attack and was questioned by security forces. Investigators were trying to determine whether the teenager acted alone or was part of an organized terrorist group, National Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said.
Paramedics treated the victim before evacuating her to the capital’s Shaare Zedek Medical Center in serious condition. The IDF Spokesman’s Office said the soldier was headed to her Jerusalem base when she was stabbed.
Light rail security officers had checked the teenager when he boarded the train but did not find his knife. Northbound light rail service was suspended after the attack, but resumed after approximately two hours.
“We did not have any intelligence that there would be a terrorist attack on or around the light rail,” Aderi said. “The light rail is secure... There are guards and Jerusalem residents can continue to travel on it.”
The level of alert was raised in Jerusalem following the attack, though the city was already on heightened alert due to the thousands of runners preparing to run in the annual marathon on Friday morning. The alert level was not raised around the country following the attack, Rosenfeld said.
Dvir Adani, a 22-year-old volunteer with United Hatzalah first responders, was the first paramedic on the scene.
“When I got here, I saw a woman in her 20s lying on the ground losing blood. I started giving her first aid until the ambulance arrived,” he said.
“She was stabbed in the chest and had a few cuts in other areas. I heard her say: ‘Why me? Why did this happen to me?’” Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat visited the soldier at the hospital on Thursday afternoon, and urged calm.
“Routine events in Jerusalem will continue as planned and the light rail will continue to operate, serving all residents both Arab and Jewish,” he said.