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Police have an opened an investigation into the veracity of an Israeli soldier's claim that he was forced to fend of an assailant who tried to stab him in the port city of Jaffa on Sunday.

Officers said they found a number of holes in the soldier's testimony soon after he lodged his complaint. Police are now checking whether a stabbing attempt actually occurred.

The 20-year-old soldier told police earlier Sunday that he had fought off the assailant who tried to stab him in Jaffa, who fled following the incident. Police embarked on a manhunt to find him immediately after.

The soldier was unharmed and police said they were investigating a possible motive.