The incident happened near a popular night club [Reuters]

Seven people have been injured in the Israeli city of Tel Aviv after a Palestinian man hit a police checkpoint with a car and stabbed passers-by, police say.

A source within the Israeli police said the man held a taxi-driver at knifepoint and stole the car, driving it to Tel Aviv.

Police spokeswoman Luba Samri said the attacker then drove into a checkpoint near a popular nightclub.

He got out of the car and stabbed civilians and officers, she said. Three of the wounded were seriously injured.

The attack took place outside the "Haoman 17" club, which is one of Tel Aviv's biggest nightclubs. About 2,000 people were reportedly inside the club at the time.

Police had set up a small security presence outside the club because of the gathering.

The attacker, a man in his twenties from the city of Nablus in the occupied West Bank, was injured while resisting arrest, Samri said.

"The Palestinian was tackled and slightly injured," she said. He was to be questioned in hospital by the internal security service.

According to Al Jazeera's Cal Perry, the Israeli police are calling it a "terror attack".

Most of the wounded were moved to a trauma centre in Holon, about 20km south of Tel Aviv. While three are seriously injured, three have already been released.

Criminal incidents are frequent in Tel Aviv. Police have also been on the alert for possible attacks inside Israel after heightened tension along Israel's borders with the Palestinian Gaza Strip and Egypt in the past 10 days.

Source: Agencies, Al Jazeera