Israel Police: Stabbing Attack Averted in Jerusalem

Policeman spots two suspicious youths, questions them, and finds they're carrying an axe and a Stanly knife, police say.

Courtesy Israel Police

A stabbing attack was averted Tuesday, the Israel Police said, thanks to an alert police officer who noticed two suspicious-looking youths in Jerusalem.

According to the police, a Jerusalem District Police officer was on his way to work Tuesday morning when two suspicious-looking teens caught his attention near Tsahal Square, which is by the Old City of Jerusalem. The policeman watched the two as they observed passers-by, "probably in an attempt to track Jews," according to the police district's spokesperson. The policeman then approached the two and questioned them, while keeping a safe distance, and found they were carrying a bag with an axe and Stanly knife inside, the spokesman said.

The suspects are Palestinian teens aged about 16 or 17, from the A-Tur neighborhood of East Jerusalem, the police said, adding that they were arrested and taken in for questioning.

Jerusalem District Police Commander Doron Turgeman said, "This is the second incident today in which the alertness and operational preparedness of police averted attacks on innocent people," adding that the officer who spotted the two teens deserves to be praised for averting an attack.

Over the past few days, police have frequently body searched Palestinian teenagers in Jerusalem. Earlier Tuesday, a sharpened ruler was found on the body of a young Palestinian. In another case, a boy tried to smuggle knives out of the Shoafat refugee camp.