Two Stabbed in East Jerusalem; Police Searching for Suspect

The attack is the second stabbing in the last day, when an Israeli jogger was wounded following an attack by a Palestinian resident of the city who was shot by officers at the scene

Nir Hasson
Nir Hasson
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Police at the scene of the stabbing attack in Ras al-Amud, Jerusalem, on Sunday.
Police at the scene of the stabbing attack in Ras al-Amud, Jerusalem, on Sunday.Credit: Police Spokesperson
Nir Hasson
Nir Hasson

A 20-year-old Israeli police officer was moderately wounded in a suspected stabbing attack in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Ras al-Amud on Sunday, Israel's emergency services said in a statement. 

The officer was rushed to Shaare Zedek Medical Center, where he is being treated for a stab wound in his upper body. Another victim's hand was lightly wounded and was treated at the scene.

The circumstances of the incident are still not clear as it appears that the attack unfolded in a manner unusual for premeditated stabbing attacks. Whereas usually the attacker goes looking for a victim, here the cops were called to the scene following a car torching incident, however during the arrest one of the suspects pulled out a knife and stabbed an officer.

Though perhaps not a planned assault, the incident is the third attempted stabbing attack against officers in Jerusalem in the past three weeks.

Two more incidents against Israelis took place in the village of Hizma near Jerusalem during the same time span. Thanks to the quick response of officers at the scenes none of these incidents ended with Israeli fatalities. In the village of Hizma the attackers were shot to death.

This chain of events, as well as other recent tensions in Jerusalem raise concern regarding the upcoming month of Ramadan.

Last year, Ramadan events in Jerusalem quickly deteriorated to a clash with the Hamas, which resulted in Operation Guardian of the Walls as well as a wave of violence in mixed cities throughout Israel. There is reason for concern this year as well.

Although the eviction of another family from its Sheikh Jarrah home has been seemingly postponed until after Ramadan, MK Itamar Ben-Gvir, who had a meaningful role in igniting the flames last year, continues his nearly daily visits to the makeshift office he erected in the neighborhood. His presence habitually creates tension. Ben-Gvir also promises to visit the Temple Mount during Ramadan, to the displeasure of the police.

Tensions are also expected to flare near Damascus gate in Jerusalem. While the police decided not to put up roadblocks at the square as it did last year, a gathering of thousands three weeks ago, on the occasion of Isra and Mi'raj – the day on which Muslims mark Muhamad's ascend into heaven – was violently dispersed by police after a few water bottles were thrown at officers by children. Dozens were injured.       

"The stabbing attacks in recent days are another example of how terrorists and extremists are trying to harm our attempts to celebrate spring holidays without restrictions for the first time in two years," Public Security Minister Omer Bar-Lev said on Twitter, in light of the mounting tensions. 

On Saturday, an Israeli was lightly wounded in a stabbing attack in the city, police said. The assailant, a Palestinian resident, was shot by officers at the scene and was taken to hospital in serious condition.

The stabbing victim, a 35-year-old man, was exercising on Hebron Road, on the seam line between West and East Jerusalem, when he was attacked, according to police.

This is a breaking news story, more details soon.

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