Two Israeli Police Officers Wounded in Jerusalem Stabbing Attack

Following the attack, large police forces entered the neighborhood and raided the assailant's home.

FILE PHOTO: Jerusalem's Lions' Gate
FILE PHOTO: Jerusalem's Lions' Gate Olivier Fitoussi

Two Border Police officers were moderately wounded in a stabbing attack near Lions Gate in Jerusalem's Old City overnight on Sunday.

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Police said that the alleged assailant exited his car, went into a post were the officers were stationed and stabbed them. According to police, a struggle ensured and one of the two managed to overtake the attacker and shoot him.

The knife used in the overnight stabbing attack.
Israel Police

A Magen David Adom team treated the officers at the scene before evacuating them to a Jerusalem hospital in moderate and stable condition.

Palestinian media identified the assailant as Ibrahim Mattar, 25, of Jabel Mukaber in East Jerusalem. 

Following the attack, large police forces entered the neighborhood and raided the assailant's home. According to Palestinian reports, police detained the assailant's parents and two of his brothers during the raid.

Taufik Mattar, the assailant's cousin, told Haaretz that Ibrahim did not carry out the attack. "There's none wounded and no nothing, the policemen are scared of themselves and according to your laws you can shoot any passing person."

According to him, Ibrahim, who worked as a carpenter, went to pray at Al-Aqsa Mosque every say and was never detained or caused problems. His brother, according to the cousin, got married only two days prior to the incident. "Who can get out of his brother's wedding and carry out an attack? It doesn’t make sense," he said.

Police said that "the increased deployment of forces, taking place year round and especially on festivals, together with the troops' alertness and professionalism, brought to the quick end of the incident."

The incident comes a day after Israel extended the closure imposed on the West Bank and Gaza over the Purim holiday weekend. The Israel Defense Forces said that the decision to extend the closure by a day, until Monday night, was taken by the political leadership.