One Killed, Two Wounded After West Bank Stabbing Attack

Yotam Ovadia, 31, was killed. 50-year-old man in critical condition ■ Assailant killed at scene by a civilian, IDF confirms ■ Defense minister seeks authorization to build 400 housing units in the settlement

The entrance gate for Geva Binyamin, on July 26, 2018.
Emil Salman אמיל סלמן

At least three people were wounded in a stabbing attack in the West Bank settlement of Geva Binyamin, also known as Adam, on Thursday evening. Yotam Ovadia, 31, died after succumbing to stab wounds.

A 50-year-old man with stab wounds to the upper body is in critical condition and was transferred to a hospital, emergency responders said.

Yotam Ovadia

A third victim with light wounds was treated at the scene.

Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman said he had instructed the Civil Administration to act towards the authorization of 400 housing units in Geva Binyamin/Adam, the West Bank settlement where the stabbing attack took place.

The assailant broke into the settlement by hopping the fence. He was then killed at the scene of the attack by a civilian, the Israeli military said, adding that forces are combing the area.

Palestinian reports identified the assailant as Mohammed Tarek Dar Yusuf, a 17-year-old resident of Khobar, a West Bank town near Ramallah. The village is the same village the killer of the Salomon family came from, exactly a year ago.

In response, the Popular Resistance Committees in Gaza said it welcomes the attack, describing it as "the appropriate response to the crimes of the occupation."

The scene of a suspected stabbing attack in the West Bank settlement of Geva Binyamin, July 26, 2018.
MDA Spokesperson

Despite Hamas' attempts to carry out attacks and build up infrastructure in the West Bank, there has been relative calm in the area over the past year, in contrast to the situation on the Israel-Gaza border

The IDF and the Shin Bet have begun investigating the incident, and the Shin Bet is looking at whether there's any connection between the assailants and the events. 

After the attack, the IDF decided to buffer Judea and Samaria forces with two additional battalions. IDF spokesman Ronsen Menelis said: "We are reinforcing the troops, and will take action against the village from where the terrorist came. We will use all our forces and capabilities."

The terrorist was from the Kubar village, and a preliminary investigation revealed that he jumped over the fence that surrounds the settlement.

The IDF is checking whether or not there was any warning set off. As soon as he entered the settlement he saw two passersby and stabbed them using a knife he was carrying. A neighbor who came by saw the two wounded people. At first he thought there had been a brawl, and, once he got to the site, he understood there was a terrorist armed with a knife. He shot the terrorist with his personal weapon. During the confrontation he was lightly wounded.

Hamas said in an official statement: "This is an act of heroism and a message to all the heads of the occupation that attempts to uproot the spirit of resistance from the heart of the Palestinian people have failed and today's heroic action proves the unity of the Palestinian people and its common destiny. Yesterday three fighters were killed in Gaza and today the response has come from the West Bank."

IDF spokesman Brig. Gen. Ronen Manelis said, "We are reinforcing troops in Central command and preparing to operate in the Kubar village, where the 17-year-old terrorist came from, and in other relevant villages, as well. We will continue to fight against terrorism."

No exceptional incidents have occured over the past few months – even as violent protests erupted on the Israel-Gaza border on Nakba Day and during the U.S. Embassy dedication in Jerusalem. Israeli defense officials have maintained security coordination with the Palestinian Authority over the past several months.

Bedouins living near Geva Binyamin reported to the guard at the settlement that a Palestinian had passed by their encampment and said he intended to carry out an attack.