Police say terror attack thwarted last week in Jerusalem Old City

Suspect from Hebron, who was carrying a knife, first claimed he came to pray, but after days of interrogation admitted he was planning a stabbing attack

Illustrative: Border Police walk through Jerusalem's Old City on October 11, 2015. (Hadas Parush/Flash90)

Security forces in Jerusalem’s Old City last week arrested a Palestinian man who was planning to carry out a stabbing attack, police said on Wednesday.

After keeping the investigation under a gag order for a week, Jerusalem police revealed that the 26-year-old resident of the West Bank city of Hebron was detained by officers on August 8 after they deemed his behavior suspicious.

A body search revealed he was holding a knife and a can of tear gas, according to a police statement.

The suspect was immediately taken for questioning at a nearby police station, where he claimed he came to Jerusalem to pray, the statement said. But the officers doubted his version and referred him to the district’s central police unit.

Police investigators then “carried out several interrogation actions through which they were able to expose the suspect’s real intentions,” the statement added.

A knife police say was found on a resident of the West Bank city of Hebron when he was searched by officers in the Old City of Jerusalem on August 8, 2018. (Israel Police)

The suspect was said to have admitted he had traveled from the West Bank illegally to carry out a stabbing attack against Israeli civilians or members of security forces.

His remand has been extended until next Monday.

“There is no doubt that the suspect’s arrest and the exposure of his intentions prevented an attempt to carry out a terror attack in Jerusalem that could have had terrible results,” police said in a statement.

Jerusalem’s Old City, one of the most volatile flashpoints of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, has been relatively quiet for the past year.

But stabbing attacks have continued elsewhere. Last month, a Palestinian terrorist climbed the fence of the Adam settlement in the West Bank and stabbed three people, killing one of them, Yotam Ovadia.

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