Police detain Palestinian woman accused of stabbing settler
RAMALLAH, West Bank (AP) — A Palestinian woman was detained after she stabbed and lightly wounded a Jewish settler in the occupied West Bank on Saturday, police said, following two days of violence across the territory.
In a statement, the Israeli border police said officers arrested a 65-year-old Palestinian woman after she stabbed and wrestled with the 38-year-old settler in the center of the highly contested city of Hebron. Officers managed to detain the woman without firing rounds and took her away for questioning, police said.
There has been no immediate Palestinian comment on the incident.
The incident took place at a checkpoint near the burial site of religious patriarch Abraham, known to Jews as the Tomb of the Patriarchs and Muslims as the Ibrahimi Mosque. Hebron is the West Bank’s largest city and is a frequent flashpoint between settlers and Palestinians.
The city is home to more than 200,000 Palestinians as well as several hundred ultranationalist and radical Jewish settlers who live in the city’s downtown area in heavily fortified enclaves protected by the military.
Saturday’s stabbing comes amid a weekend of Israeli-Palestinian violence across the West Bank.
On Thursday evening, Jewish settler Yehuda Dimentman was shot dead by Palestinian gunmen near an abandoned settlement outpost, igniting a string of settler retaliation attacks on Friday that left two Palestinians with moderate injuries.
Thursday’s shooting took place near Homesh, a former settlement evacuated as part of Israel’s withdrawal from the Gaza Strip in 2005. In recent years, settlers have re-established an unauthorized outpost at the site, one of dozens of outposts in the West Bank that are considered illegal but often tolerated by the Israeli government.
Israeli leaders have vowed to find the assailants responsible for the killing and have deployed a large number of troops across the northern West Bank. According to the official Palestinian news agency, Wafa, Israeli troops have cordoned off roads between the northern West Bank cities of Nablus and Jenin on Saturday morning and are conducting searches in nearby villages.
Past months have seen an increase in stabbing attacks against Israeli citizens. Earlier this month, an ultra-Orthodox Jew was left seriously injured after being stabbed by a Palestinian attacker outside the walls of Jerusalem’s Old City. The attacker was shot dead by Israeli police. Last week, a 14-year-old Palestinian girl stabbed and lightly wounded a Jewish woman in a tense neighborhood in east Jerusalem.
Settler violence against Palestinians has similarly increased this fall. Last month, Jewish settlers attacked a group of Palestinian farmers with clubs and pepper spray in the farmland surrounding Homesh, injuring four people.
Israel captured east Jerusalem and the West Bank in the 1967 Mideast war. The territories are home to more than 700,000 Jewish settlers, although Palestinians seek both areas as parts of their future independent state. The majority of the international community considers settlements to be illegal and the major obstacle to peace.