A Palestinian man was shot dead on Monday by Israeli police after he allegedly stabbed two Israelis in occupied East Jerusalem near a neighbourhood that has been a focus of Palestinian protests.
Video on social media appeared to show the suspect lying motionless and covered with a sheet on the ground. “Attacker shot and killed,” Israeli police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said.
Israel’s Magen David Adom ambulance service said two Israeli men in their 20s were wounded in the attack, one seriously and one moderately with stab wounds to their upper bodies.
At 13:17, MDA's 101 Jerusalem Dispatch Center received a report about a stabbing attack on Haim Bar Lev Blvd near the Jerusalem light rail station. MDA teams are providing medical care to two 20-year-old men in severe and moderate condition with stab wounds to their upper body. pic.twitter.com/1uH4NkNwk9
— Magen David Adom (@Mdais) May 24, 2021
One of the men was wearing an Israeli air force uniform, video posted to social media showed, with a knife lodged in his back as he kneeled on the ground.
“The soldier received medical treatment at the scene and was evacuated to a hospital for further medical treatment,” the Israeli military said in a statement.
Al Jazeera’s Imran Khan, reporting from occupied East Jerusalem, said it was another incident “adding to the tension here”, with many police cars and armoured vehicles roaming the area.
Israeli police blocked the front of the Damascus Gate, Khan reported, searching every Palestinian under the age of 45, something they were not doing in the morning.
The attack came after an 11-day bombing of the Gaza Strip by Israel that killed nearly 250 Palestinians, including 66 children, and wounded about 2,000 others. Twelve people in Israel died in rocket attacks.
The attacks ended in an Egyptian-brokered truce on Friday. But the weekend saw Israeli police crack down again on stone-throwing protesters at the highly sensitive Al-Aqsa Mosque compound in a sign of how volatile the situation remains.
Monday’s violence occurred near the neighbourhood of Sheikh Jarrah, where the potential evictions of Palestinian families during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan initiated mass protests followed by a violent crackdown by Israeli security forces.
The Egyptian-mediated ceasefire between Israel and Hamas held into a fourth day on Monday, while US Secretary of State Antony Blinken is due to visit the region this week for talks with Israeli, Palestinian, Egyptian and Jordanian leaders.
East Jerusalem was captured by Israel along with the West Bank and the Gaza Strip in the 1967 Middle East war.
The Palestinians want all three territories for their future state and view East Jerusalem as their capital. Israel annexed East Jerusalem in a move not recognised internationally, and considers the entire city its unified capital.