A 48-year-old Israeli man was stabbed and beaten last night in what is thought to have been a terror attack in the West Bank city of Ma’aleh Adumim.

The victim is a security guard at Ma’aleh Adumim’s sole shopping centre and is said to have been set upon late last night. Police and medics who arrived at the scene found the man having suffered multiple stab wounds. He was taken to a Jerusalem hospital unconscious and in critical condition and was attached to an artificial respirator. The Times of Israel quotes an unnamed hospital official, saying, “He underwent surgery and his condition is very severe … His life is in danger.”

The attacker fled the scene and Israeli security forces launched a manhunt. In the meantime, Ma’aleh Adumim will be closed to Palestinian workers until Sunday, once the situation has been reviewed. Judea and Samaria District police Chief Shlomi Michael commented, “This is a difficult incident … We will do everything to get our hands on the perpetrator.”

Near-daily Palestinian attacks have killed at least 31 Israelis since the current wave of violence began at the start of October. Last week, Israel’s Shin Bet security service released statistics detailing 238 terrorist attacks or attempted attacks during that time. 37 per cent of the attackers were aged 16 to 20, with a further 10 per cent even younger, while 11 per cent of the assailants were women. However, there have been no recorded attacks in Ma’aleh Adumim, although police discovered and neutralised a car bomb there in October.

Earlier this week, three attempted stabbings were thwarted elsewhere in the West Bank. However, on Wednesday at the Gush Etzion junction south of Jerusalem, a 26-year-old Palestinian maths teacher from Hebron attempted to stab 30-year-old Eliav Gelman, a father of two and a captain in the IDF reserves. Gelman attempted to fight off his attacker and was killed in crossfire when IDF troops arrived on the scene and opened fire.