TEL AVIV (Jun. 26)
A Jewish teenager from Kiryat Arab was stabbed and body wounded Wednesday while bicycling though nearby Hebron, in the West Bank.
Israeli security authorities clamped a curfew on the Arab town as they searched for the make assailant. The knifing was the first such incident in Hebron since the intifada began over three years ago.
The victim, Yossi Twito, 16, who was knifed in his side, was reported in stable condition and doing reasonably well at Hadassah Hospital in Jerusalem.
He was riding his bicycle to Beth Hadassah, a building occupied by Jewish activists in the heart of the Arab quarter, when he had a flat tire and pulled into a bicycle shop to have it repaired.
He was attacked by a masked person while standing in the doorway. The shopkeeper and the owner of a neighboring cafe who went to the youth’s aid pulled the knife from his body. That is contrary to medical preorder because it only increases bleeding.
The youngster was rushed by car to a nearby Arab hospital when an Israeli medical team arrived and took the youth by helicopter to the hospital in Jerusalem.
Although tensions have always run high between Jews and Arabs in Hebron, the Arab population has been generally quiescent. Until Wednesday’s incident, no Jew was stabbed in Hebron, although random stabbing of Jews by Arabs have become commonplace in the administered territories and Israel proper Security forces said they clamped a curfew on Hebron to facilitate the search for the assailant and to protect Arabs from revenge attacks by the Jewish militants who inhabit Kiryat Arba.
Maj. Gen. Danny Yatom, commander of the central sector, met with Jewish and Arab residents in an effort to calm the situation.