Attempted Stabbing Near Me’aras Hamachpelah; Terrorists Neutralized

YERUSHALAYIM -
ATTENTION EDITORS - VISUAL COVERAGE OF SCENES OF INJURY OR DEATHIsraeli security forces gather at the scene of a stabbing attack in the West Bank city of Hebron September 19, 2016. REUTERS/Mussa Qawasma
Israeli security forces gather at the scene of a stabbing attack in Chevron, Monday. (Reuters/Mussa Qawasma)

Two Palestinians attempted a stabbing attack near Me’aras Hamachpelah in Chevron Monday afternoon in a resurgence of Palestinian violence now in its fourth day. One Border Police officer was slightly wounded in his hand.

Police said that the terrorists approached a Border Police checkpoint at one of the entrances to Me’aras Hamachpelah, pulled out knives, and tried to stab the officers at the checkpoint, who shot at them and neutralized them before they could harm their intended targets. One of the terrorists was pronounced dead at the scene, police said, and the other died of his wounds in a Yerushalayim hospital, according to a spokeswoman for the facility. The Palestinian Health Ministry said one was aged 17 and the other, 21.

The attempted stabbing comes just hours after two Israeli police officers were wounded, one seriously, in a stabbing attack in the Old City of Yerushalayim.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu warned Sunday that the potential for violence could rise as the chagim approach.

“The security forces are on heightened alert and I will meet with them today in order to ensure that we will be ready to defend our people during this sensitive period,” he said at his weekly Cabinet meeting Sunday morning.

On Sunday night, Netanyahu ordered that police presence be strengthened in Yerushalayim’s Old City, especially in the Har Habayis area, and that violent disturbances not be tolerated. He also asked Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein to repeat the warning to MKs, Jewish and Arab alike, to stay away from the site.

However, Israeli security officials say that the rise in violence is only temporary, and they do not anticipate a return to the intensive wave of terror that began last October and carried on through the winter months.