Israeli Soldier Lightly Wounded in Hebron Stabbing Attack

Two Palestinian assailants shot and killed, in the day's third incident in the Hebron area; spate of attacks could continue 'for many more weeks,' defense establishment source says.

Shimon Zarbib

One Israeli soldier was lightly wounded in a stabbing attack in Hebron Sunday night, the day's third incident in the area. The two Palestinian assailants were shot and killed at the scene.

Dozens of Palestinians were clashing with Israeli forces in Hebron following the attack, hurling rocks at IDF soldiers. No casualties reported.

The Israel Defense Forces reported that two Palestinians arrived to Hebron's House of Contention, where two Israeli soldiers were standing. One of the Palestinians proceeded to stab one of the soldiers, and the other soldier responded by shooting the two Palestinians.

According to the Palestinians, the terrorists were Bashar and Hussam al-Jabari, 15 and 17 years old. Their family denied that they were involved in the attack, and claimed the two were executed. Palestinians have staged marches in several locations in protest of their death. 

The stabbing was the third incident in the Hebron area. 

The scene of the attack in front of Hebron's House of Contention, October 20, 2015.
Shimon Zarbib

Earlier in the area, an army officer was very lightly wounded when he was stabbed by a Palestinian during clashes near the settlement of Negohot, in the southern Hebron Hills. The assailant was shot and killed. Two hours later, an Israeli was killed when he was hit by a truck on Route 60 on the southern Hebron Hills, near the Al-Fawar village. The Israeli, 54-year-old Avraham Chasno, stepped out of his car after he was pelted with stones, and was hit by the truck. The truck driver escaped, but later turned himself in to the Palestinian police, where he said that incident was an accident.

The IDF believes that the growing number of incidents in Hebron is a result of terror attacks elsewhere, with one attack inspiring others. “It’s contagious, but we can’t identify a directing hand. It’s a continuous dynamic process and even if it’s calm for a few days, this doesn’t mean that this spate of attacks is over” said a defense establishment source. “It could take many more weeks.”

Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon said, during a visit to the Gaza Strip area Tuesday, that “in most cases, including this morning in Hebron, rapid responses by our forces, when one of them was threatened, removed the danger. In this case the terrorist was killed. That’s the way to deal with this wave of terror.”

The IDF decided earlier to reinforce its West Bank deployment with additional infantry battalions, and they are remaining there for now. The army drew lessons from last Friday’s attack, in which a soldier was stabbed at an intersection by an assailant wearing a yellow vest bearing the word “Press”. In the al-Fawar area it was apparent that the earlier attack affected soldiers’ conduct - they did not allow anyone to approach them, especially not the press. One soldier threatened a cameraman not to cross an area designated for him, saying that otherwise his camera would be broken, and that he doesn’t mind his photos appearing on Facebook. There were clashes between soldiers and villagers in the area, who burned tires. The army responded with tear gas and stun grenades.

On Saturday, two Israeli soldiers were wounded in two stabbing attacks in Hebron. In the first, a Border Police officer was lightly wounded before she managed to shoot and kill the female Palestinian assailant. In the second, a soldier was wounded in an attack near the Cave of the Patriarchs and the assailant was shot and later died of his wounds.