Jerusalem knife attacker shot dead: Israeli police

Israeli policemen cover the body of the Palestinian assailant who was shot dead following the reported attack.
Israeli policemen cover the body of the Palestinian assailant who was shot dead following the reported attack.PHOTO: AFP

JERUSALEM (AFP) - A Palestinian man tried to stab an Israeli police officer on Saturday near Jerusalem’s Old City and was killed, a police spokeswoman said.

Later in the day, a Palestinian injured an Israeli soldier in the West Bank by hitting him with his car before himself being shot and wounded, the army said.

In the first incident, police “spotted a man who aroused their suspicions and approached him to check,” the spokeswoman said.

“The terrorist pulled out a knife and tried to stab the policeman and was quickly killed by police gunfire.”

She said the attacker was a 26-year-old Palestinian from annexed east Jerusalem.

Meanwhile, the army said a Palestinian driver approached the Huwara checkpoint in the northern West Bank and rammed his car into security forces.

A soldier was wounded and forces responded, firing at the perpetrator, a statement said.

The soldier was evacuated to hospital and the assailant was said to be “receiving medical treatment”.

A wave of violence since the start of October has claimed the lives of 132 people on the Palestinian side, 19 Israelis, an American and an Eritrean.

Many of the Palestinians killed have been attackers while others have been shot dead by Israeli security forces during clashes.

On Friday, Israeli border guards shot dead a Palestinian woman who tried to ram a car into them in the West Bank, shortly after a Palestinian was killed in clashes with Israeli forces near the border with the Gaza Strip.

A number of Palestinians have attempted attacks with kitchen knives in what some analysts have described as virtual suicide missions.

Palestinians have grown frustrated with Israel’s occupation, the complete lack of progress in peace efforts and their own fractured leadership.

Pope Francis, leader of the world’s 1.2 billion Roman Catholics, used his traditional Christmas Day address to urge Israelis and Palestinians to resume “direct dialogue”, saying the conflict had “serious repercussions” on the Middle East.

US-backed peace talks between the Palestinians and Israel collapsed in April 2014 after nine months of fruitless meetings amid bitter recriminations and mutual blame.