In the West Bank, a stabbing by a knife-wielding Palestinian, wounded two soldiers of the Israeli Defense Force (IDF), leaving one critically wounded, and slightly injuring the second one. The second one, Tomer Lan, First Sergeant of the Tavor Battalion of the Home Front Command. opened fire and in effect was able stop the assailant. The two Israeli soldiers, who were injured, had been patrolling the area in order to keep it safe for the vacation period when the attack took place. Lan, after being stabbed in the back twice, managed to tackle the assailant to the ground and apprehend him.
The attacker was one of six Palestinians attempting to enter into Israel illegally. Security sources reported that he had acted alone and was not part of a terrorist group. Palestinian sources identified the 29-year-old male as Muhammad Karakera who came from Sinjil, a nearby Palestinian village. His body was subsequently taken to the Abu Kabir Forensic Institute. IDF soldiers, in response to the attack, raided the home of the attacker and questioned family members, including Karakera’s father. No arrests were made, however.
The stabbing, which wounded the two soldiers, took place on at approximately 10:00 AM on Wednesday in Samaria, off Route 60 near Ma’ale Levona, a Jewish community in the West Bank, which is close to the Karakera’s home village of Sinjil. It is also close to Shiloh, also a Jewish community, which holds a lot of religious significance for the Jewish people as it was the location of the Tabernacle, as recorded in Biblical sources. The area was seized in 1948 by Jordan during the Israeli war of Independence, who subsequently annexed it. During the period it was in Jordanian hands, the West Bank had been used for cross-border attacks directed at Israeli towns inside the Israeli border and was recaptured by Israel following an all-out attack by its Arab neighbors.
The area, now known as the West Bank, is currently in dispute as the Palestinian Authority (PA) is demanding that Israel cede it over the territory as part of a future Palestinian state, and rejects any Israeli or Jewish presence there, which they claim is illegal. Israel denies this claim as the land had been illegally occupied by Jordan. No sovereign state had existed prior to its subsequent annexation of the territory, nor had any steps been taken to create a Palestinian state during it’s Jordan’s nineteen-year hold. Approximately 1.5 million Arabs live as Israeli citizens within the pre-1967 borders of Israel.
Because of its disputed status, parts the West Bank, as well as the Jerusalem have come under similar attacks over the past year. These incidents have included similar stabbings, gunfire, rock throwing and in some cases Molotov cocktails. However, up until Wednesday’s attack, the area had been enjoying a relative calm as its residents have peacefully observing the seven-day festival of Passover.
Following the Wednesday stabbing in the West Bank, which wounded the two soldiers, nine arrests were carried against Palestinians suspected to be involved in terrorist attacks on Israeli civilians and security personal. The suspects were detained for questioning. The two wounded soldiers, meanwhile were rushed by paramedics from Magen David Adom to the Shaare Zedek Medical Center in Jerusalem. While Lan was reported to be in good condition, his partner, who had sustained knife wounds in the torso and reported unconscious and in critical condition. The aides placed him on a medical ventilator to stop the bleeding, before evacuating the place of the attack.
By Bill Ades