18-year-old Woman Stabbed in Northern Israel; Palestinian Suspect Detained

Victim evacuated to hospital in serious but stable condition ■ Suspected assailant modernly wounded after pursuit ■ Police initially said suspect had a knife in his possession but later omitted it in their final statement

Scene of stabbing in Afula, June 11, 2018.
Gil Eliyahu

An 18-year-old woman was stabbed in the northern Israeli city of Afula on Monday. A Palestinian suspect was arrested after he tried to evade the police. The police initially reported that the suspect had a knife in his possession but later omitted that information in their final statement. Authorities are searching for other possible suspects.

The woman was evacuated to Haemek Hospital in the city with several severe stab wounds in the upper body.

According to early inquiries, the woman, a resident of Afula, was stabbed and managed to flee to a nearby cafe, where she collapsed. She told people at the scene an Arab man had stabbed her. 

The hospital said that the victim was in serious but stable condition, and was being transferred to the intensive care unit. The suspect sustained injuries to his lower body.

Police pursued the suspect and shot him in the legs after he attempted to escape. An initial investigation of the suspect found that he is a 20-year-old resident of the West Bank city of Jenin and was staying in Israel without a permit. 

Michal Malka, the victim's mother, said that her daughter was "on the way to take her matriculation exams when she saw a terrorist with a knife and was brutally stabbed."

"We expect Israel to protect our children," she concluded.  
 
The police commander of Afula said "I am not ruling out the possibility that the incident isn't criminal or nationalist," adding that officers "will continue to be deployed throughout the city to provide security of the residents and bring the situation under control." 
 
One of the first responders who treated the suspect said that when they reached the scene, the suspect had been handcuffed. "There were a lot of police in the area, he was conscious he was taken to Haemek Hospital in light to moderate condition." His extended detention will take place at the Nazareth Shalom prison. 
 
"We gave her [victim] life-saving treatment she was taken to the nearby hospital in moderate to critical condition," Magen David Adom paramedics said. 
 
The deputy director of the hospital, Dr. Gil Hirschhorn, said "we will consider making further tests" on the victim while she is in the intensive care unit.