Israeli police shot and detained a Palestinian suspected of stabbing and severely injuring a young Jewish woman in the northern town of Afula. Police didn’t rule out a terror-related motive as Israeli-Palestinian tensions peak.
The victim, identified as Shuva Malka, was stabbed in the street outside of a local coffee shop before noon on Monday. Following the attack, she managed to escape to the café and call for help.
“There was an 18-year-old girl sitting on a chair at the entrance to a store. She was conscious and suffering from multiple stab wounds to the upper body,” a paramedic who was at the scene told the Times of Israel. The woman was then hospitalized in what various Israeli media described as “serious” or “critical” condition. Her condition subsequently “stabilized” but remains “serious,” the Times of Israel reports, citing the hospital officials.
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The police who arrived at the scene shortly following the incident arrested an alleged attacker following a brief manhunt. The suspect attempted to flee the scene, but was shot in the leg by the police after he “refused to stop,” the Israeli media said. The detention was confirmed by a police spokesman, Micky Rosenfeld, on Twitter. A police spokesperson told the Times a knife was recovered from the suspect.
Police arrest a suspect from Jenin who stabbed an Israeli woman age 18 seriously. Suspect was shot in the leg. Heighten security continues. pic.twitter.com/h5fPCEQKGh
— Micky Rosenfeld (@MickyRosenfeld) June 11, 2018
The man was subsequently identified as a resident of the Palestinian town of Jenin, located in the occupied West Bank, not far from the border with Israel. Police said they are still investigating the motive of the suspected attacker, adding that they have not ruled out the possibility that it was terror-related or carried out for “nationalist” reasons. According to some reports, the man had no right to enter the Israeli territory.
Waves of street attacks carried out by Palestinians occasionally hit Israel and the occupied West Bank. Tel Aviv blames Palestinian leadership for inciting the violence. The Palestinian Authority in the West Bank denies the accusations.
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The latest attack comes amid the ongoing Israeli Defense Forces’ (IDF) violent crackdown on the months-long protests along the Gaza border, dubbed the Great March of Return by Palestinians, which were started to mark 70 years since thousands of Palestinian Arabs fled or were chased off their land to make way for the newly-established Israel. More than 120 Palestinian protesters have been killed by the Israeli forces so far.
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