Palestinian attacker stabs passer-by, killed by police, in 2nd knife attack in Jerusalem in one day

Israeli Police stand next to the body of a Palestinian man, who has not been identified yet, and who was shot dead by Israeli security after stabbing and injuring a 15-year-old Jewish youth, next to the Damascus gate of the old city of Jerusalem, Isr
Israeli Police stand next to the body of a Palestinian man, who has not been identified yet, and who was shot dead by Israeli security after stabbing and injuring a 15-year-old Jewish youth, next to the Damascus gate of the old city of Jerusalem, Israel, early on Oct 4, 2105. PHOTO: EUROPEAN PRESSPHOTO AGENCY
Members of the Zaka Rescue and Recovery team clean the scene where a Palestinian was shot dead after he stabbed and killed two people in Jerusalem's Old City on Oct 3, 2015.
Members of the Zaka Rescue and Recovery team clean the scene where a Palestinian was shot dead after he stabbed and killed two people in Jerusalem's Old City on Oct 3, 2015.PHOTO: REUTERS

JERUSALEM (AFP/REUTERS) - A Palestinian man who wounded an Israeli in a knife attack on Saturday (Oct 3) evening was killed by police, just hours after another Palestinian killed two Israeli men, the police said.

The latest death occurred when the Palestinian man stabbed a passer-by on the street in west Jerusalem before being shot dead by the police.

Police spokesman Luba Samri said the victim was taken to hospital in moderate condition and that police men "saw the terrorist holding a knife, shot and neutralised him".

 

The attack happened less than 12 hours after a Palestinian stabbed two Israelis to death nearby in Jerusalem's walled Old City, and wounded a woman and a toddler. The assailant, later claimed by Palestinian militant group Islamic Jihad as a member, was shot dead by police.

A two-year-old child was slightly injured in the leg and taken to hospital as a result of Saturday's attack, and a woman was in serious condition, rescue services said.

Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said it appeared the child had been shot.

The attacker reportedly took a gun from one of the male victims and fired at the police when they responded after being alerted, before he was himself shot dead.

Police named him as Mohannad Shafiq Halani, aged 19, from a village near Ramallah in the West Bank.

Militant group Islamic Jihad said he was one of its members, but did not claim responsibility for the attack.

Media reports said three of the victims were members of the same ultra-Orthodox family on their way to pray at the Western Wall.

The United States has condemned the earlier attack. Washington "strongly condemns all acts of violence, including the tragic stabbing in the Old City of Jerusalem today", State Department spokesman John Kirby said in a statement.

"We are very concerned about mounting tensions in the West Bank and Jerusalem, including the Haram al Sharif/Temple Mount, and call on all sides to take affirmative steps to restore calm and avoid escalating the situation," he added.

The attack in the Old City came with Israeli security forces on alert after recent clashes at the city's flashpoint Al-Aqsa mosque compound.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was due to convene an emergency meeting with security officials later on Sunday, his office said, and a security Cabinet meeting on Monday.

Last Thursday, an Israeli couple was shot dead while their four children were in the car in a suspected Palestinian drive-by attack near a West Bank Jewish settlement.

Israeli police and Palestinians have also clashed frequently at Jerusalem's al-Aqsa mosque compound, Islam's third-holiest site, and at other Arab parts of the city.

Palestinians have said they fear that increasing visits by Jewish groups to the holy compound, revered by Jews as the site of Biblical temples, are eroding Muslim religious control there.

Israel has pledged to maintain Muslim prayer rights at al-Aqsa, but, citing security concerns, has frequently banned young Muslim men from entering the area.

Palestinians want East Jerusalem, the West Bank and Gaza Strip, lands Israel captured in a 1967 Middle East war, for a future state. Peace talks collapsed in 2014.