A 19-year-old soldier was stabbed in her chest and hand on Thursday morning by a Palestinian teen, while riding the Jerusalem light rail to her army base. Although originally listed in serious condition, she was evacuated to Shaare Tzedek Medical Center where she was stabilized and upgraded to moderate condition.
According to Jerusalem periphery police commander, Nissim Edri, the assailant rode the train northbound to the Pisgat Ze’ev station, and as it came to a stop, stood up and stabbed the soldier repeatedly before fleeing into the station.
“It was a nationalistic terrorist attack. Train security personnel chased the perpetrator, who was checked before the event,” Edri said. “We did not have any advance intelligence that there would be a terror attack on the light rail.”
Security forces later identified and arrested the suspect at the Qalandiya checkpoint, and the suspect has reportedly admitted to the stabbing after being questioned.
Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat visited the victim in the hospital, and was quoted afterward as saying: “Her condition has stabilized and the doctors are saying she’ll recover quickly. I look with great severity at any attempt to disrupt our lives. Events in the city will go on as usual.”
Yisrael Beitenu MK Lia Shemtov was irate at what she said was a predictable outcome: “Two months ago, I warned about the danger of the train’s route entering Arab villages. We have to wait for casualties for our leaders to wake up?”
This is the second attack to occur on the light rail, but the first to cause injuries to a passenger. Six months ago, Arabs lobbed stones at the train in the east Jerusalem neighborhood of Shuafat, smashing a window and causing superficial damage to the train.