Soldier Wounded in Second Hebron Stabbing Attack

Assailant dies of wounds after he was shot; soldiers disperse settlers who block ambulance carrying wounded assailant.

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The Cave of Patriarchs in Hebron, February 2, 2015.
The Cave of Patriarchs in Hebron, February 2, 2015.Credit: Moti Milrod

A 20-year-old soldier was wounded in a stabbing attack near the Cave of the Patriachs in Hebron in the West Bank on Saturday evening, the day's second stabbing attack in the city.

The assailant was shot, apparently by the soldier, and was seriously wounded. Magen David Adom emergency service said the soldier suffered light wounds in his upper body and added that he was taken to Hadassah University Hospital, Ein Karem after receiving treatment on the scene.

Settlers blocked the ambulance carrying the wounded assailant, but were then dispersed by soldiers. The assailant, who was later identified as Tarek Ziad Natsha, 18, succumbed to his wounds in the hospital.

Shorty after, a Palestinian attempted to stab a Border Police officer at the Qalandia checkpoint near Ramallah. The assailant was shot and killed. According to Jerusalem Police, the assailant jabbed at the officer with a knife but failed to pierce through his protective vest. Officers fired at the assailant's lower body, and he fell down. When a sapper examined the assailant for explosives, he grabbed a pair of scissors from the sapper and tried to stab him. A Border Police officer then fired at the assailant, killing him.

A search of the body found two more knives, the police said in a statement. He was later identified as Omar Mohammed al-Faqih, 23, from Qalandia.

Palestinian eyewitnesses said al-Faqih was arguing with a soldier when he was shot, and was left without medical treatment for half an hour. According to the witnesses, the youth couldn't have hurt anyone, since the soldiers at Qalandia address commuters through a glass pane.

The incident in Hebron was the second stabbing attack to occur in the city on Saturday and the third in the area over the weekend. On Saturday morning, a Border Police officer was lightly wounded in a stabbing attack near Hebron Saturday morning. The wounded female officer managed to shoot and kill the female Palestinian assailant. On Friday, a soldier was moderately wounded in a stabbing just outside the city. The assailant, disguised as a press photographer, was shot dead.

Two separate attempted stabbing attacks in Jerusalem and Hebron were foiled Saturday morning after the assailants were shot at the scenes of each incident.

The first attempted attack was foiled near Hebron's Jewish settlement enclave Beit Hadassah Saturday morning after an armed civilian shot and killed a Palestinian who attempted to stab him. Palestinian sources said the assailant was Fadel Mohammed al-Qawasameh, an 18-year-old resident of Hebron. Palestinian officials expressed doubt over Qawasameh's intentions to carry out an attack. Further, a Hebron resident said that Qawasameh was not immediately killed, and that soldiers prevented Red Crescent emergency responders from providing medical treatment. However, there are photos documenting Israeli soldiers providing Qawasameh with medical treatment and attempting CPR.

Since the beginning of this week three Israeli were killed and 40 were wounded in 17 terror attacks. Ten of this week's attacks were in Jerusalem – in the most serious attack, two Palestinians from the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Jabal Mukkaber stormed a bus in the Armon Hanatziv neighborhood armed with a gun and a knife, killing one and wounding 20 others. Shortly after, a Palestinian slammed his car into a bus station in Malkhei Yisrael Street in Jerusalem, killing one Israeli and wounding three others.

The terror wave started about two weeks ago, when Palestinians shot dead Naama and Eitam Henkin who were driving with their four children near the settlement of Elon Moreh in the West Bank.

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