Two Palestinians attempt stabbing at checkpoint, shot dead


A Palestinian brother and sister who attempted to stab Israeli Border Police officers were shot dead at the scene near Ramallah yesterday.

The incident happened at the Kalandiya checkpoint yesterday morning as the two assailants attempted to enter a passage intended for vehicles and quickened their step towards Border Police officers stationed there. They aroused further suspicion as the woman kept her hand in a bag. The pair were repeatedly told to stop and the woman was asked to throw down her bag. However, she threw a knife at one of the policemen. This prompted the officers to open fire and kill both of the attackers. In addition to the woman’s knife, the male was found to be in possession of a further two knives.

Police spokeswoman Luba Samri said, “The terrorists kept striding toward the police, who continued to call on them to stop and to put down the bag… They shot at the terrorists and neutralised them.”

The assailants were later named as 23-year-old Maram Abu Ismayil, a mother of two living in Jerusalem but originally from the West Bank, and her 16-year-old brother Ibrahim Salah Tahah. Later in the day, clashes between local Palestinians and Israeli forces took place in the area, with Israeli soldiers using tear gas after being pelted with rocks.

Yesterday’s attempted stabbing was only the fourth attack by Palestinians during April, although this includes an explosion on a bus last week in Jerusalem which injured 21 people. Knife and vehicle attacks have become less common over recent weeks, but had been near-daily occurrences in a wave of violence which has seen at least 31 Israelis killed since October.

Meanwhile, hundreds of police and border police reinforcements will remain deployed in Jerusalem during the coming days reports YNet, as the Passover holiday comes to an end. The week-long festivities, which typically see increased numbers of visitors to Jerusalem, is often a period of tension.