Israel: Palestinian stabs man at Jerusalem station, shot dead

  • AP, Ramallah, West Bank
  • Updated: Oct 31, 2015 01:05 IST
Israeli medics evacuate a Palestinian man suspected of committing a stabbing attack in Jerusalem. Knife-wielding Palestinians attacked Israelis in Jerusalem and the Israeli-occupied West Bank and one of assailants was shot dead, police said. (Reuters Photo)

A Palestinian stabbed and wounded a man at a station of Jerusalem’s light rail on Friday before he was shot dead, police said.

The man hurt in the stabbing was a US citizen, while an Israeli man was wounded in the cross-fire, according reports.

In the West Bank, two Palestinians carrying knives ran toward an Israeli checkpoint, drawing fire from troops who killed one and critically wounded the other, according to police and a Palestinian medic.

Friday’s incidents were the latest series of Palestinian attacks that began in mid-September and were accompanied by widespread unrest, including clashes between Palestinian stone-throwers and Israeli troops.

In all, 11 Israelis were killed in attacks and 66 Palestinians by Israeli fire in the past six weeks. Forty of the Palestinians killed were said to have been involved in attacks or attempted attacks, according to Israel.

Israel has blamed the attacks on what it says is anti-Israel incitement by Palestinian political and religious leaders.

Palestinians say the violence is largely driven by the hopelessness many Palestinians feel after nearly half a century of Israeli military rule, with no end in sight.

On Friday, Israeli forces imposed new restrictions on Palestinians in the Israeli-controlled centre of Hebron, the largest Palestinian city in the West Bank, residents said.

The military barred Palestinians between the ages of 15 and 25 from entering a major Hebron shrine that is revered by both Muslims and Jews, said senior Muslim cleric Munther Abu Felat. He said age restrictions were enforced only partially.

In recent days, Hebron has become a flashpoint of Israeli-Palestinian violence, with near-daily deadly confrontations at Israeli checkpoints that guard enclaves of ultra-nationalist Jewish settlers in the centre of the city.

In these incidents, Palestinians have been shot dead after the military said they stabbed or tried to stab soldiers.

Hebron has been divided since the late 1990s, as part of what was meant to be an interim agreement ahead of a final peace deal that never materialised. Israel controls the city centre, where 850 Jewish settlers live, while the remaining areas of the city are under Palestinian self-rule.

The most restricted area, near settler enclaves, is home to about 10,000 Palestinians, said Palestinian community organiser Issa Amro.

He said Palestinians were informed by troops at checkpoints on Friday that Palestinian non-residents would not be able to enter these areas, Amro said.

The Israeli military did not provide details.

In a statement, it only said that in light of recent stabbing attacks in the area, “several precautionary measures were taken to contain potential attacks in the future and maintain the well-being and safety of Israelis”.

The Jerusalem stabbing took place at a station of the city’s light rail -- a frequent target of assailants in recent weeks.

Police spokesperson Luba Samri said a Palestinian man stabbed a man waiting at the station, seriously injuring him.

As the assailant tried to stab another person, police, transport security guards and a civilian opened fire, seriously wounding him and hitting an Israeli civilian in the leg, she said. The Palestinian later died in hospital.

Earlier in the West Bank, two Palestinians drove up to a checkpoint on a motorcycle, dismounted and then charged at an officer from the paramilitary border police, Samri said.

Another officer opened fire on the pair, killing one attacker and injuring the other, Samri said.

Palestinian medics identified the Palestinian killed by troops as 18-year-old Mahmoud Sabaaneh from a town in the northern West Bank.

Medics said the wounded man was in a critical condition.

Video footage emerged later on Friday showing a military jeep hitting a Palestinian and knocking him to the ground during clashes near Ramallah. The footage showed soldiers, pushing back Palestinian medics, trying to reach the Palestinian struck by the jeep.

Samri said border police, from a jeep, saw a Palestinian run towards an officer with a sharp object as the officer administered first aid to a Palestinian who was previously shot as he threw a firebomb.

She said the driver hit him with the jeep to prevent the attack.

Both Palestinians were moderately injured, she said.

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