Palestinian Stabs Border Policeman in North Jerusalem Attack

Policeman suffers light to moderate wounds; Police open fire to subdue assailant, wounding him seriously.

A knife-wielding Palestinian stabbed a Border Police officer on duty near the Atarot industrial area in northern Jerusalem, Israel Radio reported on Saturday. Policemen nearby opened fire at the Palestinian, who was seriously wounded.

The stabbed policeman, who suffered light to moderate wounds, and the Palestinian are currently receiving treatment at Hadassah University Hospital, Ein Karem.

According to Israel Radio, a group of Border Police officers was sitting in a patrol jeep when it asked to check the person of a Palestinian passerby in order to determine if he was armed.

The knifeman approached the jeep, proceeded to stab the policeman in the driver's seat, and attempted to stab a policewoman sitting in the rear passenger seat, Israel Radio said.

A struggle ensued between the policewoman and the assailant before the crew commander on the site opened fire, wounding the Palestinian.

The attack is the third to take place in the Jerusalem area within the last 48 hours.

Policeman killed, four Israelis wounded in 2 terror attacks near J'lemOn Thursday night, two armed Palestinians infiltrated a yeshiva in the nearby settlement of Kfar Etzion, wounding three civilians.

In a separate incident that occurred around the same time Thursday, Palestinian gunmen opened fire on the Border Police officers stationed at the Ras Hamis checkpoint near the Shuafat refugee camp in East Jerusalem, killing a Border Police officer and wounding another.

The two armed Palestinians who infiltrated the Kfar Etzion yeshiva were recently released from an Israeli prison after serving time for criminal violations, Palestinian and Israeli security officials said Friday.

The two Palestinians, later identified as Mohammad and Mahmoud Samarna, relatives from a West Bank village near Hebron, were freed several days ago.

Hamas claimed responsibility for the attack.

Defense officials are still examining how the two managed to infiltrate the guarded Kfar Etzion yeshiva.

In the Kfar Etzion incident, the two assailants, armed with knives and a pistol, entered the library of the Mekor Haim yeshiva near Jerusalem and attacked students and counselors.

One of the counselors, Rafael Singer, grabbed the pistol from the terrorist and shot the intruders, killing them both.

During the battle with the Palestinian assailants, one student was moderately wounded and two of the counselors were lightly wounded.

Security officials said the Palestinians may have been attempting to hold yeshiva students hostage.

Settlement residents said it was fortunate that the Palestinians had targeted the library rather than the study hall, where hundreds of students were learning.

The Israel Defense Forces opened an investigation into the incident in an effort to determine how the terrorists penetrated the settlement's defenses and enter the yeshiva. Some witnesses said the terrorists were wearing soldiers' uniforms, while others said they were wearing the uniforms of a security company whose guards work at the settlement.

Border Policeman buried in Be'er ShevaThe Border Police officer killed in Thursday night's shooting attack at an East Jerusalem checkpoint, identified as 20-year-old Rami Zuari from Be'er Sheva, was buried in the military cemetery in his hometown at 12:30 P.M. Friday.

Border Police officer Shoshana Samendayev sustained moderate to serious injuries in the same attack. She was hurt in her chest, arm and neck in the same attack, Dr. Yuval Weiss, the director of Jerusalem's Hadassah University Hospital, Ein Karem, told Israel Radio on Friday.

The Palestinian news agency Maan reported that a previously unknown organization, the Return and Struggle Brigades, claimed responsibility for the attack. The organization said it was affiliated with Fatah's Al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades.

The checkpoint at which the shooting took place served as a pedestrian crossing point between the refugee camp and the Pisgat Ze'ev neighborhood of Jerusalem. At the time of the shooting, the checkpoint was manned by two Border Police officers.

"This is a serious incident and we will do everything in order to capture the killers," Police Commissioner Dudi Cohen said. "The passages are a serious Achilles' heel." Cohen said there was no connection between the Ras Hamis and Kfar Etzion attacks, both of which took place around 10 P.M.

"Israel continues to wage an unending battle against Palestinian terror which is fueled by extremists and rejectionism," said David Baker, an Israeli government spokesman.

Thursday's incidents occurred just a few days after the IDF Central Command proudly announced a sharp decline in fatalities from Palestinian terror in 2007. The IDF attributed this decline in large part to the army's almost nightly operations in West Bank cities, which have led to the arrest of numerous terrorists and forced others into hiding.

The last fatal terror attack was on December 28, when Palestinian gunmen shot and killed two off-duty soldiers who were hiking in the southern West Bank.