Bat Ayin teen killed, child hurt in ax attack, terrorist escapes; Israeli forces overrun nearby villages
A 13-year old boy was murdered yesterday and a seven-year old boy lightly injured when an ax-wielding terrorist attacked them in the settlement of Bat Ayin in Gush Etzion yesterday.
A local man fought the terrorist and managed to pry the ax away from him, but the assailant managed to escape. The murdered youth, Shlomo Nativ, was laid to rest at the regional cemetery of Gush Etzion, not far from Kfar Etzion. The funeral procession, attended by hundreds of people, was relatively quiet.
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Israel’s Magen David ambulance service attempted to rescue the 16-year-old but failed. The seven-year-old child injured in the attack was taken to Hadassah Hospital in East Jerusalem.
According to news reports the alleged attacker managed to flee.
In the nearby Palestinian village of Safa, Israeli forces overran the town, imposing a curfew and raiding houses. According to witnesses, more than 50 military vehicles have invaded the village. According to witnesses in the village, 28 Palestinians have been detained. It is not known where they are held.
There were also reports Israeli troops were firing in the air and that Israeli forces also invaded the town of Surif.
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Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, a group linked to the Fatah faction led by Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian president, claimed responsibility in a statement, citing Israeli “crimes of occupation”.
Emergency services described the attack as a Palestinian “terrorist attack”.
Police said they had launched a manhunt for the assailant, who is believed to have been attacked by security guards.
Micky Rosenfeld, a police spokesman, said the attacker used the axe and a knife in the assault in Bat Ayin, a settlement south of Jerusalem.
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Bat Ayin is home to religious settlers who have refused to build a security fence around their community, as is the rule in most other settlements, saying fences are a sign of insecurity.
There was no word on whether the attacker acted alone.
Less than an hour after the attack, the Islamic Jihad claimed responsibility. A murky terrorist group calling itself the Martyrs of Imad Mughniyeh also claimed responsibility for the attack in an e-mail sent to the Associated Press.
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“I managed to block his arm, we fell to the ground and struggled but he managed to run away. I called for help, another resident fired at him, but missed.
“When I got up I saw a child wounded in the head. I cried to warn his mother, who ran towards him.”
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