Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu on Sunday presented a medal of honor to four IDF border guards and three IDF soldiers for their actions in preventing a major terror attack at the Tapuah junction last week. The ceremony took place in the Jerusalem Border Guard base in the presence of Amos Yaakov, head of the Border Guard Units, and Public Security Minister Yitzchak Aharonovich.
The incident that prompted the awarding of the medals occurred last Monday night, as a terrorist opened fire at Border Police officers who were stationed at the Tapuah Junction in Samaria, near the city of Ariel. Soldiers returned fire and killed the terrorist. One soldier was lightly wounded in the incident and was treated at the scene by army medics. IDF Chief of Staff Benny Gantz, who was nearby, arrived at the scene of the attack shortly after it occurred.
“We are subject to unceasing attempts by terrorists to attack us, and these attacks continue to be a challenge for us. You are the front line defense against these attacks,” Netanyahu said.
“It's not easy, and thus we truly appreciate you accomplishments,” he continued. “We know that you are required to deal with very difficult situations and you deal with them exceptionally. We are full of wonder at your bravery and determination.”
One of the soldiers – who was injured in the course of the incident – received a special greeting from Netanyahu.
“All Israelis embrace you,” the Prime Minister said. “We will continue to provide you with the means to defend us and the state. This is what will ensure our future, and ensure peace.”
The attack last Monday came just three days after security forces apprehended an Arab terrorist wearing a suicide bomb belt at the same location.
The terrorist raised suspicions by wearing a large coat in the hot summer weather. After security forces called on him to take off his coat and be checked, the man refused and proceeded to lay on the floor. When he finally removed his coat, he was found to be wearing a belt of explosives. A bomb disposal squad was called to the area to dismantle the explosives.
The foiled suicide bombing was not the first attempted terrorist attack at Tapuah Junction in the past months. In mid-April a stabbing attack was foiled after police noticed an Arab man acting in a suspicious manner. Upon investigation, the officers found a knife in his pocket.