Two Israeli soldiers were wounded on Wednesday morning in a stabbing attack at the Shiloh Junction in the northern West Bank. One of the victims was seriously wounded in his upper body and the other sustained light injuries to his back. The assailant was shot and killed on the spot.
The soldiers, both around 20 years old, were attacked on Route 60, near the entrance to the Ma'ale Levona settlement and the Palestinian village of Sinjil, just after 10 A.M. They were initially treated by medics on site and then transferred to Shaare Zedek Medical Center in Jerusalem.
The two soldiers both serve in the Tavor Battalion of the Home Front Command. They were sitting in an ambulance at the time of the attack, called to the area to reinforce the security guards manning the Shiloh area roads over the Passover holiday.
The assailant approached the ambulance and stabbed one of the soldiers, a medic, lightly wounding him. The assailant then stabbed a paramedic in his neck, inflicting serious wounds.
The lightly wounded medic opened fire on the assailant and killed him. Palestinian sources identified the assailant as 32-year-old Mohammed Jasser Karakra, a resident of Sinjil. He was identified by his father, who was summoned to the attack site by the army. He appears to have acted alone and with no affiliation to any faction, according to Palestinian sources.
The lightly wounded soldier, Staff Sgt. Tomer Lan, said that Karakra passed by the ambulance before the attack, but then decided to turn around and started walking in their direction. When Karakra was a few meters away, Lan said, "he simply started running toward me, yelling, wielding a knife he pulled out [the knife] and stabbed me in the back."
Lan says he then fell to the ground and Karakra entered the ambulance and started attacking his friends. "I got up, operated my weapon, pointed it [at him], shot and killed him." The soldier added that despite his injury he fells "just fine."
"I knew he was a terrorist; I saw the knife, I heard my friends screaming out from the vehicle and realized that I needed to kill" him, he said.
Economy Minister Naftali Bennett said following the attack: "From Iran to Shiloh, our enemies have one target."
Qatar-based Hamas spokesman Husam Bardan said that the group welcomed the stabbing attack, saying that it was a natural response to Israel's policy of occupation. Bardan said that Israel only understands force and "the language of terror attacks." He called on the Palestinian Authority to immediately cease security cooperation with Israel and to give freedom to opposition to the occupation in the West Bank.
Last Thursday, an Israeli soldier was stabbed by a Palestinian man during an arrest operation at a crossing on the Green Line near the West Bank settlement of Oranit.
The soldier suffered light wounds to his head and shoulder. He was treated on the scene by Magen David Adom paramedics and was later taken to Beilinson Hospital, Rabin Medical Center, in Petah Tikva.
That attack occurred while Israeli forces were detaining a number of illegal Palestinian workers in the Rosh Ha'ayin region in central Israel.
In another stabbing attack in November, 26-year-old Dalia Lemkus was killed and two people were wounded near the West Bank settlement of Alon Shvut. A guard at the entrance to the settlement shot and wounded the suspect on the spot, a junction just west of the settlement entrance.