Knife-wielding 13-year-old Palestinian Girl Shot Dead Outside West Bank Settlement

Police say initial investigations suggest girl had fought with her family before leaving home with a knife. Her father was detained for questioning.

The scene of the attempted stabbing attack outside the West Bank settlement of Anatot, Jan. 23 2016.
The scene of the attempted stabbing attack outside the West Bank settlement of Anatot, Jan. 23 2016. Israel Police spokesperson

An Israeli security guard shot dead a knife-wielding 13-year-old Palestinian girl on Saturday outside the West Bank settlement of Anatot, also known as Almon, police said.

The incident occurred at approximately 8 A.M., when initial reports said that the girl ran toward the security guard with a knife. The guard shot her, and paramedics pronounced her death shortly after.

Police spokesperson Luba Samri said initial investigations suggested that the girl had fought with her family before leaving home with a knife. Her father was detained for questioning at the Ma'aleh Adumim police station.

Head of the local Palestinian village identified the girl as Rokya Abu Eid, originally from the Yatta refugee camp near Hebron, now from the village Anata.

According to her family, the 13-year-old left the tent in which the family lives, "usually she walks to the farm where her father works," her mother said. "I thought she was going in his direction, I just cannot believe she tried to stab, and even if she did we are talking about a 13-year-old, how could she stab and harm soldiers," her mom said in tears.

The girl's body was handed over to Palestinian medical services, which transferred her remains to a hospital in Hebron. Her funeral will take place Sunday in her village of Anata.

MK Esawi Freige (Meretz), condemned the shooting of the Palestinian girl saying: "Even if she had a knife, it would have been possible to arrest a girl that age instead of killing her. Instead of attacking the Swedish foreign minister and claiming that her comments are detached from reality, Netanyahu should check what's happening in his country and how children are being killed without a trial."

Freige was referring to recent accusations by Swedish Foreign Minister Margot Wallström that Israel has been conducting "extra-judicial killings" of Palestinians during the current wave of violent attacks, now some four months old.

On Thursday, Interior Minister Ayre Dery decided to revoke the permanent resident status of four East Jerusalem Palestinians who were charged with carrying out terror attacks, the first such action taken by the government in the current wave of violence.