Three stabbing terror attacks were foiled on Saturday morning in Hebron and Jerusalem, two of them against Border Police forces and one against an Israeli settler who shot the terrorist in self-defense. All three terrorists have been killed.
A Border Policewoman was attacked by a knife-wielding female terrorist at a Border Police base near the Cave of the Patriarchs in Hebron. The policewoman, who was lightly wounded in her hand, shot the terrorist dead. The terrorist was identified as 16-year-old Biyan Assila.
Corporal M., who killed the terrorist Biyan Assila in Kiryat Arba, has earned praise in the Border Police for her quick action, which prevented a more serious attack.
"The fighter acted exactly as expected. Recently, we've witnessed a lot of attempts to hurt both security forces and innocent civilians. So far, skilled forces and vigilant and determined civilians bring these incidents to an end in short order, neutralizing the attacker and prevent casualties," said Brig.-Gen. Uzi Levi, the Police commander in the Judea and Samaria District.
Corporal M. was on guard duty at the entrance to the Border Police base in Kiryat Arba when the terrorist approached her.
"The terrorist came to the guarding post and asked me to direct her to a certain street in the area. I told her I did not recognize the name and that she should ask the locals how to get there. All of a sudden she drew out a knife and tried to stab me in the neck. I took a step back and shot the terrorist without hesitating," Corporal M. recounted.
"I reacted like any other fighter in the Border Police," she said. "Fortunately, the incident ended in this matter."
Earlier in the day in Hebron, an Israeli settler shot a Palestinian terrorist trying to stab him on Al-Shuhada Street near Beit Hadassah in Kiryat Arba, critically wounding the attacker, who succumbed to his wounds shortly thereafter.
The stabber was identified as 18-year-old Fadel Qawasmeh.
The settler, who was on his way back from praying at the Cave of the Patriarchs, was unharmed.
Large IDF forces were deployed to the scene to search the nearby Palestinian neighborhoods for other potential attackers.
The scene of the attack is a flashpoint of clashes between Palestinian rioters and attackers and Israeli soldiers and settlers, due to the proximity of Palestinian homes, market and school to Jewish homes.
Following the attack, dozens of Palestinians started rioting at a nearby roadblock. Border Policemen used crowd dispersal measures on the rioters.
In Jerusalem, an Israeli out on a morning bicycle ride noticed a young Israeli Arab who was carrying a bag in a suspicious manner in East Talpiot (also known as Armon HaNetziv). The Israeli saw a team of reservist Border Policemen nearby and told them of the suspicious teen.
The fighters, who searched and found the suspect, approached him and asked for his identification.
As they were checking his documentation, Muataz Ahmad Awisat, 16, from Jabel Mukaber in East Jerusalem, drew out a large knife and tried to stab the Border Policemen, who responded quickly and shot him to death. One Border Policeman was lightly wounded in his hand.
"I don't know what I stopped, no one knows. (But) it's hard for me to ignore the thought he could've gone home and stabbed someone tomorrow," Uri Nuriel, 31, the civilian who noticed the terrorist and alerted the Border Policeman, told Ynet.
When asked what it was about the 16-year-old that raised his suspicion, Nuriel said: "He just held his bag in a suspicious way. From the handle, away from his body. At first I thought it was a bomb, that he was a terrorist with an explosive device."
"I was just vigilant. I did what everyone should do in these crazy times," he added.
"This is a child who, it appears, made the decision to commit an attack and headed out this morning to carry out his wicked plan," said Commander Haim Shmueli, the commander of the Kedem area in the police.
"I call on parents to be responsible for their children and report to us any unusual behavior, so we can take care of them without having to reach a situation in which we have to locate them on the street and neutralize them," Commander Shmueli added.
He praised the civilian who reported the teen's suspicious behavior to the Border Policemen, calling on others to do the same if they see something suspicious.
Two weeks of violence has been triggered in part by Palestinians' anger over what they see as increased Jewish encroachment on Jerusalem's al-Aqsa mosque compound, which is also revered by Jews as the location of two destroyed biblical Jewish temples.
Israel says it is keeping the status quo at the holy compound.
The unrest has claimed the lives of 39 Palestinians, including knife-wielding assailants, as well as protesters shot by Israeli forces during rock-throwing confrontations.
Seven Israelis have been killed in a series of attacks in the street or on buses.
The United States has stepped up efforts to try to restore calm to the region. Secretary of State John Kerry spoke by phone with both Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to discuss ways to end the violence.
Kerry and Netanyahu will meet next week in Germany.
Yoav Zitun, Roi Yanovsky, Itay Blumental, Roi Kais, Elior Levy and Reuters contributed to this report.