IDF: Palestinian man attempts to stab soldiers at Gush Etzion junction

A Palestinian man attempted to carry out a stabbing attack on IDF soldiers at a hitchhiking station at the Gush Etzion junction in the West Bank on Monday morning, but was shot before he could inflict harm, according to the military.

Initial reports indicated that no Israelis were harmed in the attack, and the terrorist was shot in the hand and transported to Shaare Zedek Medical Center in Jerusalem in moderate to serious condition.

Tensions have been high across the West Bank over the past week following the dramatic escape of six Palestinian prisoners from the high-security Gilboa Prison last Monday. Four of the six prisoners were recaptured by police over the weekend, but two remain at large, and security officials believe they may be hiding out in the West Bank and receiving assistance from residents.

Heavy gunfire was heard in the Jenin region on Sunday, as Israeli security forces reportedly came under fire during the manhunt for the remaining two escaped prisoners.

Palestinian media reports claimed gunmen had opened fire toward Israeli troops near the town of Araqah, west of the city of Jenin in the northern West Bank.

Overnight Sunday, terrorists in the Gaza Strip fired two rockets at Israel which were intercepted by the Gaza Strip, marking the third consecutive night of rocket fire from Gaza.

Separately, on Friday afternoon, an assailant was shot as he attempted to stab police officers in Jerusalem’s Old City, and later died of his wounds, police and hospital officials said. The attempted stabbing occurred at the Old City’s Council (Majlis) Gate, on the northern side of the western Temple Mount wall, police said. Video of the incident showed the assailant repeatedly trying to stab a police officer, who backed away and opened fire.

According to police, the assailant was a 51-year-old Arab man, a resident of East Jerusalem’s Shuafat refugee camp. The Palestinian Authority identified him as Hazim al-Joulani, director of the al-Rayyan alternative medicine college in East Jerusalem and an expert in Chinese acupuncture. He was married with children, and his Facebook page said he used to work in Assaf Harofeh hospital outside Tel Aviv.

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