2 Israelis lightly hurt in West Bank stabbing attack
Israeli man, woman sustain light injuries after being stabbed by terrorist near a 'Paz' gas station in West Bank town of Kiryat Arba. Assailant in critical condition after being shot by soldier. 'This is the result of government's weak policy,' Jewish settlement spokesman says
Two Israelis, a 49-year-old man and a 52-year-old woman sustained light injuries Thursday afternoon after being stabbed by a terrorist near a "Paz" gas station in the West Bank town of Kiryat Arba.
The terrorist, who was armed with a knife and axe, was shot by an IDF soldier a short while later and was critically wounded.
Rescue services received reports of an attack in Kiryat Arba at around 15:40. Police, IDF forces and emergency medical teams were dispatched to the scene. The injured Israelis were evacuated to Jerusalem's Hadassah Ein Kerem Hospital.
Corporal Tzach Kortzi of the Kfir Brigade's Nachshon Battalion was waiting at a nearby hitchhiking post with a number of his friends when the terrorist arrived. "I saw a car speed into the gas station, and then I heard eight shots. We all ran to the station. I saw a man lying on the ground with another wounded man beside him. People pointed to the man on the ground and said he was the terrorist. I stood just a few meters from him."
The terrorist, who was frightened by shots fired into the air by the gas station's security guard, spotted the soldier standing in front of him, stood up and shouted "Allahu Akbar" with knife in hand.
"I yelled at him to stop," said Kortzi, "but he kept shouting and began running towards me. I aimed and fired at the lower part of his body."
Kiryat Arba-Hebron Regional Council Chairman Malachi Levinger told Ynet in response to the attack, "The terrorist got out of a cab holding an axe and a knife. He approached the gas station, yelled 'Allahu Akbar (Allah is the greatest)' and began stabbing people. A soldier shot an injured him."
'This is the way Arabs thank Bibi'
According to Levinger, the terror attack is the result of Israeli "concessions to the Palestinians. I hope someone within the Israeli government will realize that we cannot hand out free gifts and consider what may happen in our area should the gestures toward the Palestinians persist."
Noam Arnon, spokesman for the Jewish settlement in Hebron, said the stabbing attack was the "direct result of the West Bank construction moratorium and the government's weak and cowardly policy towards the enemy.
"This (attack) is yet another 'trust-building' measure ahead of the establishment of a Palestinian state by (Prime Minister Benjamin) Netanyahu's government."
"As is common with weak regimes, the concessions only provide a tailwind for terror," said Arnon. "The citizens pay the price for the politicians' weakness and cowardice."
Knesset Member Michael Ben Ari (National Union) said in response to the attack, "This is the way Arabs thank Bibi (Netanyahu) and (Defense Minister Ehud) Barak for freezing the construction. Those who surrender to terror – get trampled by it."
Extreme-right activist Itamar Ben Gvir said, "(Foreign Minister Avigdor) Lieberman, (Minister Moshe) Yaalon, (Minister) Benny Begin and the rest of the ministers from the right will not be able to wash their hands and say they did not shed this blood.
"Whoever is part of (Wednesday's) decision to surrender and damage the (Jewish) settlement, is also responsible for the Arabs viewing the settlers as second rate citizens that can be attacked."
The Binyamin Settlers' committee said in a statement, "Instead of explaining to the West how to defeat terror, Netanyahu shows the world how to surrender to it."
Hanan Greenberg and Ronen Medzini contributed to the report