|A general view of Efrat [Image Source]|
An IDF officer was wounded inside the Gush Etzion town of Efrat in a terror attack, early Sunday morning, according to the IDF. The town’s security cameras saw a suspicious figure just outside the perimeter of the town at 2 AM. Local security forces and the IDF were called out and searched all night for the terrorist who was hiding in some bushes inside the town. At around 6 AM the terrorist jumped out of his hiding spot and stabbed an IDF officer involved in the search.The Times of Israel adds some details:
The attack happened at the entrance to Tziporen Street, next to Pitom HaKetoret Street, in the Zayit neighborhood.
Hatzalah Judea and Samaria says the officer is in moderate condition, with a wound to the stomach. He was taken to Hadassah Ein Kerem hospital.
The terrorist was shot and neutralized, and is currently listed in moderate condition, with a bullet wound to the head, according to Hadassah hospital (the terrorist was originally listed in critical condition, this may be a mistake in the hospital’s report).
The town of Efrat was in lockdown until 7 AM while security teams searched for possible additional terrorists.
The terrorist had 2 knives on him. A more serious attack was foiled.
7:09 AM: The lockdown is over. Schools will starting on time, with additional security.
The [IDF] officer, a reservist, was said to be in moderate-to-serious condition by Magen David Adom emergency medical personnel, but he was later upgraded to moderate condition at the hospital. The incident occurred near the entrance to the settlement, where the officer’s unit had been carrying out a sweep of the area... He was stabbed “near the armpit,” and has been taken to Jerusalem Hadassah Ein Kerem hospital, according to a spokesperson for the medical center. The 22-year-old victim “communicated with us the whole way to the hospital and was in stable condition,” MDA paramedics Issa Dawith and Moshe Benita said.Little doubt that certain people on the Palestinian Arab side have an elevated interest currently in increasing the levels of tension, threat and danger.
The attacker was shot immediately after stabbing the victim, the army said. The assailant, approximately 30 years old, was also taken to Hadassah Ein Kerem for treatment, the army said. He was moderately injured, with a gunshot wound to the head, a hospital spokesperson said. The stabbing came approximately four hours after the community’s security system picked up movement some 440 yards (440 meters) from the settlement’s fence, according to the note sent to resident. [As we noted in our blog last night] The IDF deployed an additional infantry battalion to the southern West Bank city of Hebron on Saturday evening, following two days of attacks against soldiers and civilians, the army said.
UPDATE September 18, 2016 at 2:00 pm: This morning's attacker in Efrat is identified, according to Times of Israel, as Baha a-Din Muhammad Khalil, about 30 years old. The Bethlehem-based Arab news channel Ma'an News Agency calls him Bahaiddin Muhammad Khalil Odeh, and says he's a 20 year old from the village of Wadi Rahhal, northeast of Efrat.