Palestinian, 17, Held as Suspect in Kibbutz Woman's Stabbing

Gag order lifted: Hebron-area youth was arrested four days after the February 6 attack in Rahat in which Shlomit Ganon was wounded.

Israel Police stop and search cars outside of Rahat after Israeli woman stabbed in Bedouin town. February 6, 2016.
Eliyahu Hershkovitz

Israeli police and the Shin Bet security services have arrested a 17-year-old Palestinian from the Hebron-area town of Yata as a suspect in the stabbing and wounding of an Israeli woman in Rahat on February 6.

The suspect was arrested four days after the attack but a gag order prevented that from being published before Wednesday. Police said the suspect would be indicted in the near future.

In the incident, Shlomit Ganon, of Kibbutz Mishmar Hanegev was stabbed while shopping in a Rahat market, sustaining wounds to an ear and back of the neck. 

The suspect, whose name has not been published, fled the scene right after the attack. He had been in Israel illegally.

"At first he ran without realizing where he was running," said a source involved in the investigation. "At some point he even returned to the site of the incident, saw the commotion, realized he'd returned and continued to flee."

A video clip of the incident was published on YouTube, and the perpetrator told his brother, also in Israel illegally at the time, that he had committed the attack. They fled together back to Yata. 

The suspect was arrested along with his brother. Police said he admitted to the attack during questioning and led police to the weapon, a knife, that he used to stab Ganon.

The suspect had been doing agricultural work in Rahat with other family members and that he stayed with the family that employed them.  The Rahat family had been unaware of what he had done. 

The suspect told Shin Bet investigators that in recent months, and during the 2014 Gaza war, he and his family participated in violent protests against Israeli forces in the West Bank. The suspect and other family members would with the help of Negev residents, steal through holes in the security barrier to enter Israel illegally.