Palestinian Suspected of Attempted Stabbing Attack in West Bank

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Signs pointing to Yitzhar in the nearby Palestinian town of Huwara in 2019.
Signs pointing to Yitzhar in the nearby Palestinian town of Huwara in 2019.Credit: Tomer Appelbaum

An Israeli man said Wednesday that a Palestinian had attempted to stab him near the Yizhar Junction in the West Bank, without injuring him.

The military has launched an investigation into the incident and searches for the suspect are underway.

Yitzhar, a hilltop community near Nablus, is known as one of the West Bank's more radical Israeli settlements. Last year, Israeli forces repeatedly reported attacks by settlers while attempting to dismantle the illegal outpost of Kumi Ori, associated with Yitzhar. 

This incident follows weeks of unrest in the West Bank following the death of teenage settler Ahuvia Sandak in a car chase.

Ahuvia Sandak – a resident of the illegal outpost Maoz Esther next to the settlement of Kokhav Hashahar – was killed in December during a police chase. Sandak, 16, and his friends were suspected of throwing stones at Palestinians, and their car flipped during the ensuing police chase, injuring his friends and killing him.

His death ignited a wave of demonstrations in the West Bank and Jerusalem, many of which turned into violent rioting against Palestinian residents and security forces.

On Monday Israel's Central Command chief Maj. Gen. Tamir Yadai met with radical young settlers from Maoz Esther to try to calm the situation and establish a dialogue. The meeting was attended by members of the Kumi Ori outpost.

There have been ongoing instances of violence in this area. In November, Israeli news documented an attempt by residents of the outpost of Oz Tzion to prevent Palestinians from picking olives nearby, resulting in stone throwing. There have been many other cases of harassment of left-wing activists or security forces, including stoning of security forces near the Kumi Ori outpost.

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