Two Israelis killed in stabbing attack in Jerusalem
Palestinian attacker shot dead by police after he stabbed four people, including a woman and her son in the Old City.
Two Israeli men have been killed and a woman and her son injured in a stabbing attack by a Palestinian man in Jerusalem’s Old City.
The group was attacked on Saturday night by a man who was later shot and killed by the Israeli border police near the Lions’ Gate in Jerusalem.
Israeli police confirmed that the Palestinian, 19-year-old Muhannad Halabi, was from al-Bireh, a Palestinian city adjacent to Ramallah in the central occupied West Bank, 15km north of Jerusalem.
An initial police investigation said that the suspect stabbed several people, then took a gun from one of the wounded and fired at tourists and police officers, the AP news agency reported. He was then shot dead by police.
In a separate attack, a few hours later on Sunday morning, a Palestinian man was shot dead by police after he stabbed an Israeli teenager in the Bab Al-Amoud area of Jerusalem.
The 15-year-old was rushed to the Shaare Zedek Medical Centre with moderate knife wounds to his chest and back.
Reports from the West Bank say there have been repeated clashes overnight between Palestinians and the Israeli army in the vicinity of Halabi’s house.
Israeli soldiers evacuated the al-Aqsa Mosque compound after arresting at least 40 worshippers following the first attack.
Nickolay E Mladenov, the UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, condemned the Halabi attack on his Twitter account.
“I condemn the brutal terror attack that killed two Israelis in Jerusalem, call on all to stand firm against incitement, prevent escalation,” he wrote.
In the wake of the first attack, Israeli politicians criticised the government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s handling of security in the country.
Isaac Herzog, the leader of the opposition Zionist Union, said: “Netanyahu has lost control over the security of Israeli citizens and Jerusalem.”
Former government minister Avigdor Lieberman said: “This is what losing control and deterrence looks like.”
Netanyahu, who is on his way back from a trip to the US, called on an urgent cabinet meeting to take place on Sunday to discuss measures following the incident.
The attacks come amid high tensions in Jerusalem after clashes between police and Palestinians at the flashpoint al-Aqsa Mosque compound.