Female Soldier Stabbed on Light Rail

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JERUSALEM, Israel -- An Arab stabbed a female soldier traveling on Jerusalem's light rail Thursday and then fled as the train stopped.

According to eyewitnesses, the attacker waited for the train to stop, then pulled out his weapon and stabbed her several times in the chest and arm, fleeing when the doors opened.

Police apprehended the suspect at the Kalandia checkpoint between Jerusalem and Ramallah after an officer and security guard identified him, Army Radio reported.

Other than saying he confessed to the nationalistically motivated stabbing, police have yet to release further details.

Paramedics treated the unconscious 19-year-old soldier at the scene before transporting her to Jerusalem's Sha'are Zedek Hospital, where she is in serious but stable condition. Doctors said the knife missed her heart by inches and no major organs were pierced.

Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat visited her and her mother in the hospital, later telling reporters residents should not let the incident disrupt their normal routines.

"I urge residents to continue with their day and to be alert for any situation," Barkat said.

Yehuda Ne'emad, who was stabbed several months ago by a knife-wielding Arab assailant, went to the hospital to encourage her, YNet reported.

"This whole situation is unpleasant," Ne'eman said. "The recovery period is tough and takes patience, but it passes."

"It even makes you stronger," he said. "I came to show my support as someone who also went through this."

On Friday, the second annual Jerusalem marathon will take place. Last year, two days before the event, an Arab detonated a bomb on a Jerusalem bus, killing one person and wounding dozens.

Despite the trauma, city officials did not call off the race, nor will today's attack be allowed to spoil tomorrow's festivities.

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