At least five people have been killed in two alleged Palestinian attacks in Tel Aviv and the Gush Etzion Israeli settlement near Bethlehem in the occupied West Bank, Israeli police have said.

The first attack was allegedly carried out on Thursday by a knife-wielding man who fatally stabbed two Israeli men and seriously injured a third in a southern Tel Aviv office building. He was arrested at the scene.

Luba Samri, an Israeli police spokeswoman, said troops were searching for a possible accomplice of the attacker, the Associated Press news agency reported.

Samri said the attacker was apprehended by civilians. She said he was a 24-year-old Palestinian from the West Bank village of Dura. 

Shimon Vaknin, a witness, told Israeli Channel 2 TV that a bloodied man stumbled into the room where he prayed with companions. He described a dramatic standoff with the worshippers standing against the closed shop door as the assailant tried to force his way in.

"We were in the middle of prayers ... a man fell upon us covered in blood, all cut up," Vaknin said.


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West Bank incident

In a separate incident, three Palestinians allegedly opened fire on an Israeli car from a vehicle in the Gush Etzion settlement south of Bethlehem, killing at least one Israeli, a Palestinian and an American according to the police.

Micky Rosenfeld, an Israeli police spokesman, said that two of the attackers were shot and captured while a search for the third was ongoing. At least seven other people were also wounded, a medical source said.

Israeli media reported that the attackers kept driving after opening fire and rammed their car into an oncoming vehicle.

A new wave of unrest erupted in mid-September over tensions surrounding a Jerusalem holy site - Al-Aqsa Mosque compound - and has quickly spread into Israel, the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.

Source: Al Jazeera and agencies