Israel Police Arrest Palestinian Woman After Attempted Stabbing in Jerusalem

Police say the woman waved a knife at policemen in Damascus Gate, prompting forces to detain her; sources say suspect acted like she wanted to get arrested

Israel Border Police officers stationed near Damascus Gate, Jerusalem, February 26, 2018
Emil Salman

Israel's Border Police arrested on Saturday a Palestinian woman in her fifties who had attempted to carry out a stabbing attack near the Damascus Gate in Jerusalem, police stated. 

Sources familiar with the incident have said that police seem to believe that the woman wanted to be arrested.

Videos posted on social media showed several officers wrestling a Palestinian woman wearing a traditional Muslim headscarf to the ground near the East Jerusalem entrance to the Old City. 

"A suspect arrived near Border Police officers on duty at Damascus Gate in Jerusalem, and waved a knife at them," the police statement read. "The suspect, in her 50s, was taken for questioning," it added.

The incident came in the wake of clashes on Friday between worshippers and Israeli security forces outside Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem after morning prayers. According to the Israel Police, its forces intervened and broke up a gathering that featured "nationalist slogans and the violation of public order." 

Stabbing incidents happen at regular intervals in Jerusalem. In October, a 16-year-old Palestinian was shot and injured after attempting to stab a police officer. In August, Nassim Abu Rumi, 14, was shot and killed by Israeli police officers after he and another teenager attempted to carry out a stabbing attack.

A Palestinian woman carrying a knife was shot dead in September 2019 at the Qalandiyah checkpoint, north of Jerusalem.

Although often portrayed as terrorist attacks, individuals carrying out this kind of action sometimes have deeper, more complex motivations.