UN Mideast envoy ‘horrified’ by killing of Palestinian stabber who wounded officer

The United Nations envoy to the Center East on Saturday mentioned he was “horrified” by the killing of a Palestinian stabber who safety forces mentioned wounded an Israeli police officer within the West Financial institution.

On Friday afternoon, Ammar Mifleh tried to enter a car of an Israeli couple within the city of Huwara, close to Nablus, Border Police mentioned. Whereas attempting to interrupt via the locked door, one of many occupants — an off-duty IDF officer — shot and wounded Mifleh along with his handgun.

Mifleh then ran at a close-by Border Police officer and stabbed him within the face, flippantly injuring him.

Graphic footage posted to social media confirmed one other Border Police officer attempting to apprehend Mifleh after the stabbing, as two different Palestinians had been attempting to drag him free.

The second officer managed to drag Mifleh away from them in a headlock, however he then briefly freed himself from his grasp and appeared to attempt to seize the officer’s computerized weapon. The officer then allowed the weapon to fall to the bottom as he pulled a handgun from a holster and fired 4 occasions point-blank, killing Mifleh.

The footage was partial and didn’t present the preliminary stabbing.

“Horrified by at present’s killing of a Palestinian man, Ammar Mifleh, throughout a scuffle with an Israeli soldier close to Huwara within the o[ccupied] West Financial institution,” UN Particular Coordinator for the Center East Peace Course of Tor Wennesland mentioned on Twitter.

“My heartfelt condolences to his bereaved household. Such incidents should be totally & promptly investigated, & these accountable held accountable,” he added.

Overseas Ministry spokesman Emmanuel Nahshon slammed Wennesland’s assertion, calling it a “whole distortion of actuality.”

UN Particular Coordinator for the Center East Peace Course of Tor Wennesland briefs, over video convention, the Safety Council on the Scenario within the Center East, together with the Palestinian query on January 26, 2021. (Daniela Penkova/UNSCO/File)

“This incident is a terror assault, wherein an Israeli policeman was stabbed in his face and the lifetime of one other police officer was threatened and consequently he shot his assailant,” Nahshon mentioned on Twitter.

“That is NOT a ‘scuffle’-this is a terror assault!” he added.

Protection Minister Benny Gantz additionally mentioned he “strongly condemned” Wennesland’s remarks.

“I need to reward the police officer who neutralized a terrorist yesterday. I strongly condemn the makes an attempt to current the occasion in a false and manipulative method, and the assertion of the UN envoy to the Center East in opposition to the [officer], who acted with dedication and professionalism,” Gantz mentioned on Twitter.

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Accidents induced to a police officer following a stabbing assault within the northern West Financial institution city of Hawara on December 2, 2022. (Israel Police)

Huwara mayor Moein Dmeidy and others on Saturday cited second-hand accounts that there had been an altercation between Mifleh and an Israeli motorist after a automotive accident, however Related Press journalists had been unable to search out witnesses to the occasions that led as much as the capturing.

Dmeidy mentioned the officer had no justification to kill Mifleh after he had already overpowered him. Mifleh was “killed in chilly blood,” mentioned the mayor, who arrived on the scene moments after the capturing.

Dmeidy mentioned a Palestinian ambulance arrived minutes after the capturing, however that safety forces prevented the medics from administering assist. Dmeidy mentioned Israel has not handed over Mifleh’s physique for burial.

Border Police mentioned that the officer with stab wounds was subsequently evacuated for medical remedy, as was the officer who subdued the attacker.

Photographs of the officer who killed the stabber had been posted to social media on Saturday, some together with threats in opposition to him.

Huwara is a frequent flashpoint with a freeway working via the city being a essential route for settlers touring within the northern West Financial institution.

Mifleh was the ninth Palestinian killed in West Financial institution violence in lower than 4 days.

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A knife utilized by an alleged Palestinian attacker within the West Financial institution city of Huwara on December 2, 2022 (Israel Police)

Two Palestinian terror group members had been killed in heavy clashes with Israeli troops that broke out throughout a pre-dawn Thursday arrest raid close to the northern West Financial institution’s Jenin refugee camp. One other Palestinian was killed in clashes with Israeli troops within the northern West Financial institution city of Yabed on Wednesday afternoon. 4 Palestinians had been killed in clashes with the IDF all through the West Financial institution on Tuesday and one other Palestinian was killed after finishing up a car-ramming assault that severely wounded a soldier that very same day.

Tensions have been excessive within the West Financial institution over the previous yr, with the IDF launching a significant anti-terror offensive largely targeted on the northern West Financial institution to cope with a sequence of Palestinian assaults which have left 31 individuals in Israel and the West Financial institution lifeless because the begin of the yr.

The operation has netted greater than 2,500 arrests in near-nightly raids, however has additionally left greater than 150 Palestinians lifeless, lots of them — however not all — whereas finishing up assaults or throughout clashes with safety forces.

The Related Press contributed to this report.

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Tal Schneider

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