A Palestinian terrorist stabbed an IDF soldier in the neck in the village of Yatta near Hebron on Thursday. The soldier sustained moderate wounds and was conscious when taken by helicopter to Hadassah Ein Kerem Hospital in Jerusalem.
The soldier shot dead a Palestinian who was near the stabber, who sustained moderate wounds. Palestinians identified the dead man as Zakariya Abu Eram.
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An initial investigation of the event suggests that a Kfir Brigade force entered the village of Yatta to arrest Khaled Mahamra, a Palestinian terrorist who was released as part of the Shalit deal and suspected to be smuggling funds for terrorist organizations since his release. The Palestinians said the victim was shot in the head and indentified the wounded terrorist as Muhammad Rashad.
Mahamra was arrested in his home when two other terrorists attacked the soldiers who were guarding the building. One of them stabbed a soldier using a pocket knife. The combatant fired four shots at the two in response. Large forces later arrived at the scene. IDF elements stated that the combatants acted professionally.
Hadassah Ein Kerem Hospital where soldier was taken (Photo: Ohad Zwigenberg)
An IDF inquiry indicates that two teens ages 14 and 15 attacked the soldier, a medic, who was standing near Mahamra's house. One of them grabbed him while the other stabbed him in the neck. The two then started fleeing scene but the soldier soon regained his composure and responded by firing four shots at the two.
The inquiry also revealed that one of the two Palestinians is a relative of Mahamra.
A Red Crescent official said that the IDF prevented ambulances from arriving at the scene and that only after lengthy negotiations did the forces allow the Palestinian victim to be treated. After receiving treatment he was arrested by the IDF. Palestinians also reported that IDF forces left the scene with two detainees: Khaled al-Mahamra and the wounded man.
IDF jeep damaged near Hebron after stabbing attack (Photo: AFP)
Once a Fatah operative Mahamra joined Hamas during his stint in prison and was involved in a 2006 terrorist attack against Israeli civilians. He is the fifth prisoner released as part of the Shalit deal and arrested again after breaking his parole.
Security sources noted that on the first time that the prisoners had to report to the Coordination and Liaison offices in their area of residence they did so without exception, but that many have started breaking their parole in the past two months. Some have also resumed their terrorist activities, the sources said.
The last few weeks have seen several violent incidents in the Hebron area. Earlier this week, seven Palestinians were arrested after hurling stones at a Golani force patrolling in the city. The soldiers used crowd dispersal means and fired two warning shots.
Last month, a Molotov cocktail was hurled at soldiers near the Negohot settlement in Mount Hebron. No injuries or damage were reported.
Yoav Zitun and Elior Levy contributed to this report
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