A 19-year-old female soldier was stabbed in her chest and hand on Jerusalem's Light Rail on Thursday. She was treated at the scene by United Hatzalah medics and taken to the Shaare Zedek Medical Center in moderate condition.
A suspect who fled the scene was later arrested at the Qalandiya checkpoint. During his questioning he admitted to the stabbing. The IDF Spokesman's Unit said that the army placed roadblocks and held extensive checks in the Gaza vicinity checkpoints. Several suspects were detained for questioning.
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An initial police investigation suggested that the woman was stabbed by an Arab man who fled the scene.
Scene of the attack (Photo: Gil Yohanan)
The probe indicated that the assailant waited for the train to stop and then stabbed the woman and immidiately fled the scene. Light Rail traffic in northern Jerusalem has been suspended.
The victim's mother discovered that her daughter was hurt when she was at work. "At first the media said that she was in serious condition and then another phone call came in from Shaarei Tzedek hospital, an hour later, I just couldn't function. The Shaarei Tzedek hospital said that they gave her a CT and discovered that no critical organs were hit."
The victim has been put on the respirator machine and is undergoing a series of tests to see whether surgery will be necessary. Her mother is at her bedside. The suspect was arrested at the Qalandiya checkpoint by a police officer and security guard who recognized him. He is being questioned and his personal details are under a gag order.
Scene of stabbing attack in Jerusalem (Photo: AFP)
An eye witness said: "I was sitting on the train, there were no screams or anything to indicate something had happened. When I looked back I suddenly saw people crowding around and as I approached I saw the young woman bleeding. She mumbled, 'why did this happen to me' and 'why do I deserve this'."
A United Hatzalah medic, Dvir Adani, described the scene: "As I arrived I saw a young woman with stab wounds to her chest. She had a low pulse, as she lost a lot of blood. We treated her until she was taken to hospital."
The first attempt at a terror attack on the Light Rail occurred six months ago as stones were hurled at the train in Shufat. A window was shattered but no passenger were injured.
'There was an element of luck'Dr. Ofer Marin, director of Shaare Zedek's trauma center said that the knife had been lodged inches away from the soldier's heart. "There was definitely an element of luck here. Right now her life is not under any danger."
Stabbing victim Yehuda Ne'emad, who was assaulted in Jerusalem by a Palestinian terrorist several months ago, visited the soldier at the hospital. "This whole situation is unpleasant. The recovery period is tough and takes patience but it passes. It even makes you stronger. I came to show my support as someone who also went through this."
Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat visits soldier (Photo: Noam Moskowitz)
Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat also visited the hospital. "Her condition has stabilized and the doctors are saying she'll recover quickly. I view with great severity any attempt to disrupt our lives. Events in the city will go on as usual."
Asked about the Light Rail's security he said, "Security in Jerusalem is mostly peripheral and in any case the security guards can't cover everything. There are lots of entrances and exits to each car." Barkat called on the public to attend Friday's Jerusalem marathon.
Jerusalem resident Amos Eyal said that locals have repeatedly warned about the danger in the Light Rail passing through Arab neighborhoods. "We all predicted this incident. It was only a matter of time until such an attack happened when the Light Rail passes through hostile neighborhoods like Shufat. "
Omri Efriam and Aviel Magnezi contributed to this report
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