“I stood at the hitchhiking stop. I spoke with someone I know and while I spoke to him I suddenly felt a blow here, on (my) left side,” said Josh Lorech, the 31-year-old from Mahane Yatir, a Jewish-Israeli settlement in the West Bank, who was stabbed by a female Arab terrorist on Monday morning in Gush Etzion in the West Bank.
“I was a bit in shock and by the time I managed to turn around I saw a black blob getting further away from me. In hindsight, it became clear this was the terrorist. Meanwhile, I realized from my field-of-vision that I had a knife stuck in me. I took it out,” said Lorech of the stabbing incident.
Lorech, who was lightly wounded, said he did not feel the knife enter him. “I have a hole in my jacket; I thought it was a dry hit. It is simply a miracle,” Lorech said.
The terrorist, Amal Taqatqa, a 25-year-old woman from Beit Fajjar, a Palestinian town south of Bethlehem, stabbed Lorech with a knife. She had carried another knife with her which was found later on.
After the stabbing, Taqatqa was shot by IDF troops from the Duchifat Battalion of the Kfir Brigade. She is being treated at Hadassah Medical Center in Ein Kerem and is said to be in very serious but stable condition.
Taqatqa, who identifies with Fatah, was imprisoned in Israel for three months in 2011 for throwing stones.
An hour after the stabbing attack, IDF forces entered Beit Fajjar and conducted a search in Taqatqa’s home as well as took in her father for questioning.
After the attack, blockades were set up in order to stop the vehicle that drove Taqatqa to the intersection where the stabbing took place.
Almost three weeks ago, a Palestinian wielding a knife stabbed three Israelis in a nearby location, killing 26-year-old Dalia Lemkus and wounding the two others. It is also close to the spot from which the three Israeli teens - Eyal Yifrach, Naftali Fraenkel and Gil-Ad Shaer - were abducted and later murdered.
"Once again, they are trying to kill us," said Davidi Pearl, the head of Gush Etzion Regional Council. "To our relief, the incident ended with just one person lightly wounded and serious injury to the terrorist. I thank the IDF soldiers for their quick reaction, which led to this outcome. I call on the defense minister to do his utmost to restore peace and security to the residents of the area. We will do everything to ensure that life in the Gush continues to flourish."
Yoav Zitun and Noam "Dabul" Dvir contributed to this report.