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2 Palestinian girls detained after alleged stabbing attempts

Feb. 9, 2016 9:55 A.M. (Updated: Feb. 9, 2016 5:27 P.M.)
Palestinian girl detained near illegal Karmei Tzur settlement. (Image taken from social media.)
JERUSALEM (Ma’an) -- Two Palestinian girls were detained by Israeli forces in separate incidents on Tuesday on suspicion of attempting to carry out stabbing attacks.

In occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City, Israeli border police approached a Palestinian girl at the entrance to Damascus Gate after noticing her "moving in a suspicious way," Israeli police spokesperson Luba al-Samri said.

After asking the teen to open her bag for inspection, she pulled out a knife and attempted to stab the officers who “quickly controlled her without injuries,” al- Samri said, adding that she was taken for questioning.

The girl was identified as a 16-year-old Palestinian resident of occupied East Jerusalem.

Shortly after, Israeli media reported a 13-year-old Palestinian girl detained near the illegal Israeli settlement north of the occupied West Bank city of Hebron on suspicion that she intended to carry out an attack.

An Israeli army spokesperson told Ma’an that a “suspect was identified approaching the entrance of the Karmei Tzur settlement.” A security guard at the entrance “searched the suspect and identified a knife,” before taking them in for questioning, the spokesperson said.

Davidi Perl, head of the Gush Etzion Regional Council -- a body that oversees administration for a bloc of illegal settlements in the southern West Bank -- told Hebrew news site Maariv following the incident that the Palestinian Authority was to blame for the girl’s actions.

“A girl who leaves her home to stab Jews instead of leaving for school is the result of years of ongoing incitement by the Palestinian Authority,” Perl said.

Perl called on the Israeli government to "move from defense to attack."

The alleged attack attempts are the latest in a wave of unrest that sparked in occupied East Jerusalem in October and later spread to the West Bank.

A 14-year-old Palestinian was shot dead last week for allegedly throwing Molotov cocktails at vehicles on Route 60 near Halhul, located in the Hebron district directly south of the illegal Karmei Tzur settlement where one of the Palestinian girls was detained Tuesday morning.

Three Palestinians were shot dead after carrying out a deadly attack on Israeli border police officers stationed at Damascus Gate on Feb. 3.

The attack left a 19-year-old officer dead and another moderately wounded.

The Israeli military sealed Qabatiya, the hometown of the three attackers, for three days following the attack, blocking movement in and out for the towns over 20,000 residents.

Punitive demolition orders have also been delivered to the family homes of the three, and several Israeli work permits have been revoked from Qabatiya residents.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon last month condemned the recent series of violent attacks carried out by Palestinians, but said that Israeli security measures were failing to "address the profound sense of alienation and despair driving some Palestinians -- especially young people."

Moon criticized Israeli policy, saying that it was "human nature" for Palestinians to react violently to Israel's nearly 50-year military occupation.
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