An Arab terrorist infiltrated Israel from Gaza on Sunday night and stabbed a community security officer outside Sadeh Avraham, a Gaza border community in the Eshkol Regional Council.
Another security officer opened fire and wounded the terrorist, neutralizing him.
The security officer, who was stabbed on his stomach and arm, was evacuated to Soroka Hospital in Be’er Sheva. The terrorist was arrested and also evacuated to the hospital.
ניסיון הפיגוע באשכול: ככל הנראה אזרח נפצע קל מדקירה. המחבל, שהיה חמוש בסכינים, נוטרל@Itsik_zuarets צילום: נאור אואקרט pic.twitter.com/XeiGoistEp
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The incident began when a local resident spotted the terrorist and notified security. A community security officer from nearby Moshav Avshalom showed up to the scene first and approached the suspect. While questioning him, the terrorist stabbed him. Another community security officer who had arrived at the scene then opened fire.
It is rare for a Palestinian, who often attempt to enter Israel from Gaza, to infiltrate so deeply into Israel without being stopped by IDF soldiers stationed at the border. The terrorist, who was spotted five kilometers away from the border, was initially thought to have entered via the Kerem Shalom Crossing but it was later found that he entered through a breach in the security fence.
The Shin Bet and Israel Police have opened an investigation into the incident.
“I have no doubt that an attack could have occurred similar to the horrific murder in Itamar,” said Nir Shurman, head of the local community security organization. “The guard saved lives and thwarted a major attack.”
“The community security guards are the last line of defense for the residents. Their determination, professionalism and speedy response to the events determine the difference between a successful ending or a bereaved family and conflict with Gaza.”
Following the incident, Regavim, a pro-yishuvim NGO stated that the community security guard had prevented a serious attack by the terrorist, who was armed with more than one knife, with his bare hands. The organization noted that it is the height of absurdity that the security guard has been forced to patrol the area for about a year without a personal weapon following false complaints made by Bedouin criminals.
The two community security guards, who are also police volunteers, had detained Bedouin suspects during an operation last year for several offenses. The police arrived and arrested the suspects, who swore revenge on the guards.
The Bedouins subsequently filed a complaint with the Police Investigation Department that the volunteers had drawn their weapons on them. In light of the complaint, the volunteers’ personal weapons were confiscated.
An appeal filed by the community security guards with the help of the Regavim legal department was rejected on the ground of “concern for public safety.” This decision was made despite the fact that the two men continue to use weapons while volunteering for the police and when serving in reserve duty.
(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)