Would-be Palestinian attacker leaves note saying she was defending her homeland


JERUSALEM (JTA) — A Palestinian woman who was shot to death during an attempted stabbing at a West Bank checkpoint left a note saying she would carry out an attack “in defense of my homeland.”

“I’m ending my path, and I’m reaching this end with my full mental capacity, in defense of my homeland and the young men and women [of my people],” the alleged assailant identified as Rasha Awissi, 23, wrote in the letter, the Times of Israel reported. “I can’t bear what I see any longer. All I know is that I can’t take it.”

Awissi also asked her mother and brothers to forgive her for her actions.

The attempted attack took place Monday morning at the Eliyahu Crossing between central Israel and the West Bank. Awissi reportedly is from the Palestinian city of Qalqilya, which is located near the crossing.

Awissi drew a knife from her bag and began walking toward soldiers and waiting cars during the morning rush hour, according to reports. Security officers at the checkpoint called on her to stop several times, and when she did not fired warning shots in the air and then at her, the reports said. She died at the scene.

Guards from the Defense Ministry found the letter in her bag.

A day before, an Israeli man, 50, was seriously injured in a knife attack near the Palestinian village of Nebi Elias, located close to the crossing. He drove himself to the crossing to get help.

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